Odds are, everyone you know wears shoes almost every day. Some people have hundreds of pairs, and at least one person has more than 2,300 pairs. Meanwhile, an estimated 300 million people worldwide have zero pairs of shoes. There are some pets that own more shoes than 4% of the Earth’s population.
Those of us who have shoes tend to take them for granted. If we were to go shoeless for a day, however, we would begin to understand the plight of the shoeless. Millions can’t go to school or work for lack of shoes, and those who try risk cuts, hookworm, and other serious health problems. In many parts of the world, no shoes equals no opportunities.
Soles4Souls — a Nashville-based not-for-profit organization — has made it their mission to get shoes to the shoeless. In an effort to raise awareness of shoelessness, Soles4Souls has organized the #Barefoot4Them campaign.
Today, October 16th, your social media feeds are likely to include lots of pictures of bare feet. That’s because thousands have pledged to go barefoot in solidarity with the shoeless. To participate in the #Barefoot4Them campaign, all you need to do is register at Barefoot4Them.org, then share pictures of yourself doing kooky things while barefoot with the tag #Barefoot4Them.
Participating in the #Barefoot4Them campaign will help get the word out so Soles4Souls can continue their important work. Since being founded in 2006, Soles4Souls has collected and distributed more than 26 million pairs of shoes in the U.S. and 127 countries. They’ve also developed a micro-enterprise model that helps lift third-world entrepreneurs and their families out of poverty.
If you’d like to get involved with the cause more directly, we encourage you to visit their website, where you can discover how to donate shoes or money. Soles4Souls also gives volunteers the chance to accompany them on shoe distribution journeys. Traveling with Soles4Souls could be a great opportunity to find adventure in Tanzania, the Philippines, Guatemala, and elsewhere.
So how ‘bout it? Can you go without shoes for a day, or at least long enough to snap a picture and share it online? You may not be allowed in Applebee’s, but that’s a sacrifice you’re probably willing to make.
Click the link to learn more about #Barefoot4Them