Monday, April 11, 2011

A Day Without Shoes

During our high school career, my teammates Kelly Blackburn, Micah Matlock, Morgan Dawson and I all attended the Washington Leadership Conference. There, we defined our purposes as leaders, learned the importance of valuing people, created action plans to live that purpose out, and finally to serve others by combining those three concepts. 

One service project touched on during the conference was Toms Shoes... a company with a One For One mission... you purchase one pair of shoes, and another pair of shoes is sent to someone who really needs them. 
  • In some developing nations, children must walk for miles to food, clean water & to seek medical help.
  • Cuts & sores on feet can lead to serious infection.
  • Often, children cannot attend school barefoot.
  • In Ethiopia, approximately 1 million people are suffering from podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring disease caused by walking barefoot in volcanic soil. 
  • Podoconiosis is 100% preventable with basic foot hygiene & wearing shoes.

 We shared these facts with our teammates. So, while Miss Megan Klotz & Miss Janna Oxford were touring Section II for Star Visits, Nellie Bell joined us 4 W.L.C. graduates in Toms 1 Day Without Shoes.

After traveling the State for Chapter Awards Banquets, I traveled barefoot into Chase Bank to deposit my expense report check. 

Nellie went to Goodwill to return some costumes for leadership conferences, where her lack of shoes went unnoticed.

While trying to pick up some groceries for the Officer House, Micah and I got kicked out of Wal-Mart, and moments later Nellie was barred from entering... (you know what they say: "No shoes, no service.")

Dawson enjoyed having her oil changed while we all kicked up our bare feet in the waiting room of Jiffy Lube in Greenwood.

It was an eye opening experience... the deviance from the social norm, the feeling of being malequiped for daily interaction, the tiny fraction of pain that thousands endure every day...

There is a Native American proverb that says "Do not criticize a man until you have walked for a day in his moccasins". 

Why not walk a day without moccasins, and then aid a child who does just that every day?

Order your Toms, and someone elses, at

From FFA: Following the Future of Agriculture

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