Students go barefoot for a good cause

The mile-long walk stretched around campus starting at Elizabeth College Amphitheater, passing by Faculty Hall before ending at the steps of Lovett Auditorium. || Kate Russell
The mile-long walk stretched around campus starting at Elizabeth College Amphitheater, passing by Faculty Hall before ending at the steps of Lovett Auditorium. || Kate Russell

The mile-long walk stretched around campus starting at Elizabeth College Amphitheater, passing by Faculty Hall before ending at the steps of Lovett Auditorium. || Kate Russell

One day without shoes. That’s all it takes to raise awareness for others in need.

This year, the Woman’s Center teamed up with the University Bookstore in hosting One Day Without Shoes.

The one-mile walk took place Tuesday in an effort to raise awareness of poverty and AIDs in Africa.

“For most of us, shoes are something we take for granted, where as in other, not as fortunate countries, they could be lifesaving,” said Stephanie Smith, student worker at the Woman’s Center and junior from Mt. Vernon, Ind.

It was more than three years ago when Blake Mycoskie, the creator of TOMS, came to speak on campus.

Since then, the University Bookstore and the Woman’s Center decided to team up and put on this event.

“We thought if we can turn it into something that would raise awareness, then it would be worth doing,” said Lisa Whitehead, customer service member at the University Bookstore.

One Day Without Shoes is a program open for anyone

willing to participate. The website lists the locations of where One Day Without Shoes will take place.

To participate, however, all one must do is go the day without wearing shoes.

“One Day Without Shoes is a program we do through the company, TOMS,” Smith said. “It’s where universities and companies around the country don’t wear shoes to help raise awareness for the cause.”

The University Bookstore accepted pledges from anyone willing to walk the mile.

According to Whitehead, they received about 20 pledges.

“This year, we have had more donations than we have had pledges,” she said.

In addition to the pledges people could make, the bookstore also accepted donations of gently used shoes.

“We try to raise awareness about children who have to go days without shoes, not only in developing countries, but in America as well,” she said. “To do so, we accept pledges from students and community members. We also accept donations of gently-used shoes, and those go to Murray-Calloway County High School.”

Approximately 20 students participated in the walk, which started at Elizabeth College Amphitheater and went on for a mile, ending on the steps of Lovett Auditorium, where a group picture was taken.

“I really wanted to participate in the walk because I wear TOMS shoes and support what the company stands for,” said Tori Bertram, freshman from Paducah, Ky.

Another student, Amber Booth, freshman from Grahm, Ky., said she was surprised with the turnout.

“I’m glad so many people came out because it’s such a quick, easy and fun way to raise awareness,” she said.

Jodi Moffett, freshman from Louisville, Ky., said she would love to participate in the event again next year and encourages her fellow student body to do the same.

The event is all about raising awareness in order to help someone in need.

Said Smith: “The point of the whole thing is we really want to let people know they have the ability to help out and raise awareness, whether it’s donating your gently-used shoes or joining in on the walk.”

 Story by Savannah Sawyer, Features Editor.