Last week at Feed The Children we went One Day Without Shoes to bring awareness to the fact that shoes can save children’s lives by preventing debilitating diseases. All our staff in Oklahoma joined together with our partner, TOMS to go shoeless and remember stats like this: Over 270 million preschool-age children and over 600 million school-age children live in areas where these parasites are intensively transmitted. They need treatment and preventive interventions.
One condition, called podoconiosis, is very debilitating, causing extremely painful swelling of the feet and legs. Podo affects more than 4 million people in at least 15 countries. (Source: WHO, 2013)
Podo can be prevented by wearing shoes and practicing good foot hygiene. Feed The Children gives shoes along with health education to children at risk of podo.<
It was even more moving because I’ve met the precious child that I walked in honor of. Meet my buddy Oscar in the picture above. Because of donors like you, he gets shoes. I know because I’ve put them on him myself. Oscar just began school recently in his community in Honduras.
Last time I saw him, I heard from his mother that she’s so proud of him. He’s doing great in school, getting high marks on his papers. His mom said she’s so thankful for the impact that Feed The Children has had on his life. Though spending one day without shoes of course will not solve the great problems of the world– we have so much more work to do– I am glad I participated for the second year in a row. My feet were quite dirty by the end of the day but in my house I had clean water to wash them in.
When I woke up the next morning, I thought twice about the blessing that my shoes were to overall health and wellbeing. And I said a prayer for Oscar. If you want to know more about what you can do to get involved with this wonderful campaign, follow the updates over at TOMS. We’d love to have even more organizations, individuals and corporations join with us next year in one day #withoutshoes