A few weeks ago, in honor of Angel, a Helene kid we got to know I participated in "One Day Without Shoes" virtually. Virtually, because I was barefoot on the street, driving and at work, until I spent the evening with a friend at the hospital. Didn't think I could pull off the bare feet there.
The idea of the day is to raise awareness and to get shoes for kids around the world. Here are the facts:
- In some developing nations, children must walk for miles to school, clean water and to seek medical help.
- Cuts and sores on feet can lead to serious infection.
- Often, children cannot attend school barefoot.
- In Ethiopia, approximately one million people are suffering from Podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring disease caused by walking barefoot in volcanic soil.
- Podoconiosis is 100% preventable with basic foot hygiene and wearing shoes.
I posted on facebook that I was participating in the barefoot day and Anne May, whose family is currently serving at the Karibue Centre in Thika, Kenya posted a note on my wall that the kids around the center are in need of shoes. So via my facebook wall I announced that we were going to collect quarters in my cowboy boot at work on Sunday. The goal was that we would raise enough money for new shoes for 60 kids, approximately $120. Families saved money, kids took money out of their accounts and parents matched it, people cleared out their penny jars and asked me not to total it after one week but to extend to a second Sunday. Yesterday Mike and I dumped the really heavy nearly overflowing boot in to a change counter and the Sunset community gave (drum roll please) $240!!!!! We will be depositing the cash in to Ian's account soon so they can buy shoes for the kids who will be heading to school soon. THANK YOU so much everyone who donated!