USA (MNN) — Did you ever think you impact your world by going barefoot?
Going without shoes for a day could change the world. How? It develops compassion, a love for others, and a joy of caring for the needs of the poorest of the poor.
According to UNICEF's annual report, The State of the World's
Children, there are 148 million orphans around the world. Most of
these children are going into state-funded homes.
Sadly, a majority of these orphanages do not receive enough
funding to support the children in their care. One of the greatest and
most immediate needs is shoes. Many of the children receive one pair of
shoes to last the entire year, and some don't have shoes at all. For others who have received a new pair of
shoes through the years, those shoes were the first thing in their lives they
Many in the community are choosing to go without shoes on April 10
to share in the experience of millions of children in underdeveloped countries
who don't have the choice to wear shoes. Amy Wilson with Global Aid Network is
heading up "One Day Without Shoes" campaign for their ministry. She says, "It's to bring light to the
issues that children face when they do not have the luxury of having a pair of
shoes of their own. Last year, over 1400 people went without shoes to
raise awareness on behalf of children without shoes."
The importance of shoes? Aside
from hygiene, the most obvious point is that shoes help protect against injury. But, says Wilson, "For children who go without shoes on a daily basis,
there are a lot of soil-transmitted diseases that they can receive from not having the proper footwear."
Not having shoes also has a huge impact on these kids' futures,
explains Wilson. For most, the only way out of poverty is through education. "In
many cases, children without shoes also do not go to school. Whether that is
based on the rules of the school, or whether that is based on their own concern
over being different, it does limit education for children."
On April 10th, GAiN USA is hosting a Barefoot Art Walk
and photo booth from 11-2 at the Hope Center in Plano, TX. Wilson says more than awareness, it's a call to
action. "What we'd like to do is see people ask the question: 'How can we
make a difference?' The whole point of
educating is to motivate people to get
GAiN USA is no stranger to walking in another's shoes. "Global Aid Network has been shipping
shoes to different countries for many years, so it is our heart to help people understand
the need for shoes. In many of the countries
where we serve, we interact with children who are barefoot. That is something
that we'd like to see changed."
In fact, they've been collecting and distributing them for years as part of their outreach. "The shoe campaign, just as it is with any of our other campaigns, is a way that we carry out our mission to demonstrate the love of God as we meet the needs of the neediest around the world."
We have a link at our Web site to show how you can participate in
your area to raise awareness.