By Elizabeth Oxley, Warren County High School, McMinnville, Tennessee
It’s attention grabbing, dirty, and just plain gross to many, but as One Day Without
Shoes rolls around for its fifth year on April 10, Warren County High School students are allowed for the first time to ditch their shoes for the natural alternative.
“We’ve tried to get it approved last year, and we were prepared to be turned down again this year,” said junior Megan Dishman.
Students were happily surprised this year when the event was approved; it signified a change in support from the school for a cause that many are deeply passionate about.
“It’s a good opportunity for students to better understand the problems facing kids less fortunate than they are,” said executive principle Tony Cassel.
“Day Without Shoes is going to be an amazing experience,” Dishman said.
While an “amazing experience” seems like a stretch to doubters, senior Cheyenne Clark, who participated outside of school last year, agrees with Dishman.
“It made me very grateful, and I will definitely be doing it this year,” Clark said.A common question from many “germophobes” is, “Why are you barefoot?”
That is a question that many shoeless students hope to answer this year.
“ I think we should go barefoot everyday. I believe raising awareness is just that important,” said sophomore Newby Parton.
Participants emphasize that it’s important for people to understand what it’s like to not own a pair of shoes. They know it’s radical, but for many, it’s worth a lot to step into someone else’s shoes, or in this case, feet.However, organizers and participants understand why people are often reluctant to go to the extreme.
“I support the cause, but I don’t want to do it here at school,” said Karaline Deaton.
Nick Simmons agrees, “I don’t really want to get a Staph Infection from the floor.”
However, for every cautious person there is another already slipping off their shoes for the movement.
One Day Without Shoes is sponsored by the popular Tom’s shoe brand. In which every shoe purchased a child in a developing country receives a pair of shoes for free.
“One for one,” said Tierney Preston.
One day a year, the Toms franchise gets shoe fanatics and barefoot lovers combine to raise awareness for the millions of children that go barefoot everyday in third world countries.
“There are a lot of worst places to go barefoot than Warren County High School,” Dishmen said.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which is officially sponsoring the event at Warren County High School, plans to show the documentary “For Tomorrow” on Channel One on April 3rd during first period.
The group also hopes to have hallways dedicated to the dangerous of not wearing shoes, such as: Hookworm, Podoconiosis, and Jiggers.
In addition, at their meeting on April 10th in the Band Room during lunch the group invites everyone barefoot or not to bring a pair of gently used shoes to be donated here in Warren County. At press time FCA also planned to have former Tom’s intern and warren county resident Abbi Martin Ice as a guest speaker.
This is the fifth year that event has taken place and it continues to grow in size around the world. Last year, twenty-five different countries participated in over 1,000 different events. The Warren County High School group currently plans to register on the official site.
For students interested in participating, it’s important to note that everyone will be required to where shoes into their first period class before they can store them in their locker or bag. More information and ideas can be found at toms.comthe original article from hsj.org, written by Elizabeth Oxley