Today, Toms Shoes launched the “One Day Without Shoes” Campaign, and Toms is extending the program from May 5 to May 21. The great thing is everyone can help. The “One Day Without Shoes” Campaign is asking that fans Instagram the tagged photos of their bare feet. In doing so, Toms Shoes will donate a new pair of shoes to a child in need, according to a Los Angeles Times article.
There is a cap of 1 million shoes that Toms has put on the “One Day Without Shoes” Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of podoconiosis, or mossy foot disease. Podoconiosis, according to the Mossy Foot Project, infects about five percent of the population in the highland tropical areas of Africa. A World Health Organization report goes much deeper into the problem that mossy foot disease can place on individuals, specifically in Ethiopia.
“Population-based surveys suggest a prevalence of 5–10% in barefoot populations living on irritant soil. In Ethiopia, 1 million people are estimated to be affected, while in Cameroon, a further 500 000 people are estimated to be affected. The economic consequences are severe: productivity losses per patient amount to 45% of working days per year, thus economic losses to a country such as Ethiopia exceed US$ 200 million per year. Stigmatization of people with podoconiosis is pronounced; patients being excluded from school, local meetings, churches and mosques, and barred from marriage with unaffected individuals.”
Many times this disease can be avoided if a person just has a pair of shoes to wear while working in the field. The idea Toms Shoes has behind “One Day Without Shoes” is for the person that takes the picture to realize what a person without shoes might go through in a third world country.
Toms Shoes was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie. After seeing children without shoes while traveling in Argentina, Mycoskie developed an idea of One to One giving. For every pair of shoes that Toms Shoes sells, they donate a pair of shoes to a child in need. To date, Toms Shoes has donated approximately 35 million pairs of shoes in over 70 countries.
If you would like to participate in Toms Shoes “One Day Without Shoes” Campaign, be sure to tag your bare feet in the Instagram Photo #withoutshoes between May 5 and May 21. If you do this, one child will receive a pair of shoes courtesy of Toms Shoes. Remember, you need to go without shoes for the entire day.
[Photo by Toms Shoes]