By Stacey Axler
Over 150 Hood students and professors participated in Frederick’s One Day Without Shoes.
One Day Without Shoes is an annual worldwide event where participating individuals do not wear shoes to raise awareness of the many children who are exposed to diseases and challenges because they cannot afford shoes. the event took place on Tuesday, April 10.
“This event was important mainly to bring awareness and give a voice to those around the world who don’t have the basic necessities of shoes. Plus, it reminds people to never take anything for granted,” senior Jacob Ausherman, the student coordinator of the event, said.
The event is supported by TOMS Shoes, a social justice business that gives a free pair of shoes to a child in need when a customer purchases a pair of shoes.
“[One Day Without Shoes] event was important because many people don’t know just how bad the situations are in other countries. Before you can fix a problem, you must be made aware of it,” sophomore Jessica Rumke, who participated in the event, said.
Rumke added, “I participated because I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. If I can help make just one more person aware, than I have done my job because who knows where that one person will take it or how many more people they will tell.”
Participants in One Day Without Shoes met together on the steps of Alumnae Hall at 12:30 pm to walk through baker park and downtown Frederick barefoot.
The participants gathered at the Velvet Lounge for the One Day Without Shoes block party the store hosted. The Velvet Lounge gave out prizes to certain participants such as free pairs of TOMS shoes.
Throughout the rest of the day, the students went barefoot around campus and the surrounding community. However, some locations required students to wear shoes, such as the Coblentz Dining Hall and lab classes, for health and safety reasons.
“I participated because of my social work background. One of our responsibilities as a professional is to advocate for those who face inequalities or difficult situations. The other is that in order to better understand our clients we must ‘start where the client starts.’ By participating I am “standing in another person’s shoes,” and quite literally I can understand their pain. My feet were black by mid-day,” Ausherman said.
Along with the One Day Without Shoes event, a shoe drive took place on campus all week to collect shoe donations from individuals who wanted to provide for people around the world who walk barefoot daily.
This is the second year that Hood College participated in the global One Day Without Shoes movement.
The event gave the Hood campus and Frederick community an opportunity to gain a global perspective and experience the way less-fortunate individuals live.
“Things we have like clean water, access to medical resources, education, and shelter are not things other people around the world have as luxuries, or at all. It’s always rewarding to see something you’ve planned and spent any amount of time on to come together,” Ausherman said.