By Chris Reimer – On April 10th the Hill will be nightmarish for individuals with podophobia (a fear of feet). Students will be attending classes, eating in the cafeteria and sipping coffee in the perch barefoot. The nationwide TOMS Day Without Shoes will be coming to Jewell and it will include Graham Colton, a famous musician, performing on the quad, an outdoor picnic on the quad, a student-wide barefoot walk around the quad and will end with a showing of the TOMS documentary. By getting the student body to go an entire day barefoot, the goal is to raise awareness for children who live their everyday lives without shoes in developing countries. Millions of children are exposed to diseases and injuries everyday due the lack of a simple pair of shoes; furthermore, many children aren’t allowed to attend school without shoes. By getting the nation to go barefoot, TOMS hopes to create curiosity and conversation that will lead to change.
Chelsea Taff, Charlotte Belshe and Chris Reimer took on the task of bringing TOMS Day Without Shoes to Jewell’s campus. The trio applied for a grant from the William Jewell College Center for Justice and Sustainability in December of 2011 and received funding for the event over winter break. Since receiving the grant, the group has been working hard to organize the event and promote the barefoot movement in order to get students energized. They will be selling self-designed t-shirts to raise funds for children in need, and they are arranging for a shoe drop to be at the event so that students can donate their old shoes.