Senate Promotes "One Day Without
Each day, millions of children around
the world contract serious infections and diseases
because they have no shoes. To help raise awareness
of the problem, State Sen. Andrew
Rice authored Senate Resolution 43 Thursday
declaring April 16, 2009 as "One Day Without
Shoes" in the state and asking Senate members
and staff to participate in the world-wide event.
"It's sad that in this day and age there
are countries with such extreme poverty that people
don't even have the basic necessity of shoes to
protect their feet. It's one of those things that
most Americans take for granted - just think how
many pairs of shoes are in our closets. We think
of shoes as an accessory to go with an outfit,
not as a necessity," said Rice. "I wanted
to make my colleagues and other Oklahomans aware
of this issue and encourage them to get involved
with charities such as that ran by TOMS Shoes."
The "One Day Without Shoes" campaign
was organized by TOMS Shoes, which was founded
by American Blake Mycoskie after finding children
in Argentina who had no shoes to protect their
feet. The company has a One for One philosophy
in which for every pair of shoes sold, the company
donates a pair of shoes to a child in a developing
country who would not have access to shoes otherwise.
Since its creation, the company has given over
140,000 pairs of shoes to children on four continents.
The company plans to give over 300,000 pairs this
"In some developing countries, children have
to walk for miles for food, clean water, and to
seek medical aid. Since they don't have shoes,
they get cuts and sores on their feet that can
lead to serious infection and disease," said
Rice. "Not having shoes not only causes health
problems, but social ones as well because often
times, these children aren't allowed to attend
school barefoot. All of these problems could be
solved with one pair of shoes and that's what
we're trying to raise awareness of today."
Rice went on to explain that in Ethiopia, approximately
one million people are suffering from Podoconiosis,
a debilitating and disfiguring disease caused
by walking barefoot in volcanic soil. Wearing
shoes completely prevents the condition.
Rice was joined by a group of barefoot students
from various colleges including the University
of Tulsa, Oklahoma Baptist University, the University
of Oklahoma Tulsa branch and Oklahoma Christian
University. Lauren Santore came from the University
of Tulsa to share her excitement about Tom's Shoes'
One for One program and One Day Without Shoes
"We take for granted the availability of
shoes, and there are a lot of kids in other countries
who just don’t have access and who suffer
tremendously from that,” said Santore. “I
believe this is going to be really powerful for
people in Oklahoma who have never either heard
of TOMS or the problems that are happening in
other countries because of the lack of shoes.”
Various schools around the state will be participating
in the One Day Without Shoes event including Bartlesville
High School, Gore High School, Southern Nazarene
University, the University of Central Oklahoma,
the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University,
Northeastern State University, Tulsa University,
Oklahoma Christian University, and Southwestern
Oklahoma State University among others.
To learn more about the TOMS Shoes One for One
program, visit www.tomsshoes.com.
For more information contact:
Sen. Rice's Office - 405-521-5610