Some students will dare to bare their feet in support of One Day Without Shoes while others will cover with strappy sandals and fluorescent sneakers.
On April 10, people around the world will join together and “go without shoes so kids don’t have to.” These people will celebrate One Day Without Shoes to raise awareness for the children around the world who are unable to buy shoes.
One Day Without Shoes is about helping children in foreign countries who go barefoot and put themselves at risk of contracting many soil-transmitted diseases. These diseases include hookworm, mossy foot disease, chiggers and tetanus. These diseases cause everything from severe itching to muscle spasms to locked jaw or fatality.
Blake Trekell, a sophomore from Aurora, Colo., studying mechanical engineering, first heard about the event in high school and has participated ever since.
“My friend told me about it and I thought it would be a fun and simple way to raise awareness,” he said. ” Little did I know how inconvenient it would be. One Day Without Shoes served its purpose and taught me how hard life is without shoes.”
Trekell said the event is not well advertised in Utah compared to other places.
“Everyone in Colorado knew about it,” he said. “Here in Utah, I haven’t heard anything about it.”
Trekell said he has never been confronted about his bare feet, but he has a backup plan just in case.
“I keep a pair of sandals in my backpack,” he said.
Bronte Toolson, a sophomore from Mason, Wash., has participated in One Day Without Shoes in past years. Toolson said in an email she thinks more people would appreciate the event if they knew about it, but it wouldn’t change participation.
“Some people don’t want to get their feet that dirty,” she said. “It’s also technically against the Honor Code to go without shoes in public campus spaces, so that would deter a lot of people.”
As mentioned by Toolson, going without shoes on campus is against the Honor Code. It is stated in the dress and grooming standards section that “shoes should be worn in all public campus areas.”
Even though Toolson said the event is supporting an important cause, she does not think the event is the most effective way to raise awareness or bring change.
“I didn’t have a single person ask me why I didn’t have shoes on,” Toolson said. “I received a couple funny looks but that was all. If more people participated, it could be more effective.”
Benjamin Johnson, a student from Valencia, Calif., studying history, said he would not personally participate in the event because it would not make a difference.
“I don’t think I would participate for the cause,” Johnson said. “I don’t think people seeing my toes would raise awareness about children with diseased feet in Africa.”
For more information about the event and how to participate, visit the website onedaywithoutshoes.com.