They were small in number, at first.
The South Texas heat seemed even hotter than usual and, as a result, the pavement and roads were hot and painful to walk on – barefoot.
Still, they marched around University Boulevard, without shoes or socks, so kids wouldn’t have to.
Javelina Students for Sustainability (J.S.S.) put together the ‘One Day Without Shoes’ event last Tuesday, April 10, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The event’s purpose was to bring the AMK community together to raise awareness for children who have to walk without protection on their feet, which can lead to disease and infection, said Genesis Urbina, the event organizer.
“In 2009, I came across TOMS shoes on a commercial. I looked into it and thought what they did was really interesting,” Urbina said.
TOMS shoes was established in 2006 after Blake Mycoskie discovered children in Argentina who didn’t have shoes. He created TOMS shoes, which would match every purchased pair of shoes with a donated pair to a child in need, his ‘One for One’ promise.
“The event is extremely important. I couldn’t stress how important it is. It’s so life-changing, whether you’re the person purchasing the shoes, receiving the shoes, or the person donating the shoes,” Urbina said.
Participants in the event marched around University Boulevard. One person carried a sign with the word
(See TOMS pg 3) TOMS on it, with the others closely behind. They walked around the street while artist Mathias Isassi performed original songs.
“I think the message is really great. We’re very fortunate to be with shoes every day. There’s people out there that walk every day without shoes. It needs more support, so we can spread the awareness a lot more, maybe into all of Kingsville,” Isassi said.
By the time the event had ended, an estimated 20 to 30 people had shown up, Urbina said.
J.S.S. already has plans to make the event bigger and better, said John Evers, J.S.S. President.
“We’re going to start advertising better, advertise to clubs about a month in advance, and we’re thinking of having a pledge sheet,” Evers said.
“It’s very important that we give back to our community and give back worldwide. We’re all connected somehow,” Urbina said.