Today I’m not wearing shoes. No, not even my beloved Birkenstocks. Why? Because today is TOMS “One Day Without Shoes” awareness campaign. Have you thought about the millions of children in developing countries who must walk barefoot for miles to school, clean water and medical care? One of the things that I first noticed when watching a friend’s slide show of photos from Haiti was that almost no one had shoes.
I loved going barefoot as a kid growing up in the California desert. My grandfather called me “Barefoot Sally”. But I had a choice. I could put on a pair of shoes if it was cold and of course I had shoes for school and church and anytime we weren’t at home. These days I don’t go barefoot often, even in the house. I developed some foot problems which are exacerbated by going without shoes so even indoors I nearly always wear my Birkenstocks.
But not today. Not after watching this:
No, today I’m barefoot. And while I don’t have to walk miles or even have to go to town today, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to put on shoes. The biggest challenge was walking all the way out to our chicken coop to let them out this morning. Not only was it only 43 degrees at the time, walking inside the coop to collect eggs was, well, a little gross. I also realized with just the first few steps that the bottoms of my feet are not as tough as they must have been when I was a kid walking barefoot back and forth to my grandparents’ house. Ouch. And even indoors on clean, carpeted floors I have thought about shoes. It’s been a little chilly in the house because we had turned off our heater a few days ago and I’ve been tempted to at least put on some socks. However, I figure that kids who don’t have shoes probably don’t get to wear socks very often, either.
So what have I learned today? I was reminded of the importance of something we take for granted. I am going to go through my shoes and donate the extras (I’ll have David and Chris do the same). And the next time I need a pair of shoes, I will consider buying from TOMS because for every pair you purchase, they will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.
And here is today’s kitty photo: