If you haven’t already heard about One Day Without Shoes, mark your calendar for April 10th. TOMS, the shoe brand (and clothing and eyewear brand, too), whose business is more of a movement than a traditional company, has set their annual One Day Without Shoes for next Tuesday.
As many of you already know, the TOMS business model is based on the premise of a worldwide movement called One for One, which combines commerce with social responsibility. The One for One vision is that for every pair of shoes TOMS sell, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. Unfortunately, millions of children live without proper footwear, exposing them to injury and disease every day. But, over 1,000,000 pairs of shoes have been given to children under the One for One program since TOMS launched in 2006.
One Day Without Shoes hopes to draw awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life by taking off our own. Some illnesses due to the lack of proper footwear include:
- Podoconiosis: 4,000,000 have podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring soil-based disease
- Hookworm: 740,000,000 people are affected by hookworm which can cause intestinal pain, weakness and cognitive impairment.
- Dangerous Debris: 30,000 people live on one landfill in the Philippines, where many are without shoes and are exposed to broken glass, syringes and debris.
- Jiggers: 1,890,000 Kenyan children are infected by jiggers, burrowing fleas that cause painful infection.
People in over 25 countries will begin hosting thousands of local events to celebrate this cause. Over 500 schools and 1400 companies will join in the effort. Celebrities who will go without their shoes to raise awareness include Lenny Kravitz, Charlize Theron, Donna Karan, Sara Bareilles, The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, Kris Allen, Arianna Huffington, One Republic, Hands, Ryan Eggold, Matisyahu and dozens of others. Microsoft, AOL, Nordstrom and many other companies will participate. The official Twitter Hash Tag for April 10th, 2012 – #OneDayWithoutShoes.