Today, TOMS Shoes is telling people to not wear shoes as a reminder to those who have none. To me this is a great excuse to run around barefoot and laugh at other’s stubby toes or hobbit feet. However, after the day is over the humor doesn’t cover the stench from a group of dirty feet or the pain from the gravel and asphalt. TOMS point is proven as we are left reflecting on the thousands of children whose feet are left naked all the time.
This got me thinking. How many needs are there around the world that go unnoticed? I went barefoot for a day to raise awareness for kids without shoes, but what about those without shelter? What about those going without food or without water? Oh wait, they can have water, it just will have a little mud in it, or maybe some bugs. As I learned more and more about these facts my heart broke! Some time ago I found out that a huge cause of death for infants in the San Blas Islands takes place when they are weaned from their mother’s milk to water. As a result, many mothers give the children coffee, because their water is just that bad! But instead this causes stunted growth and mal-nutrition. Fresh water is a prominent need, however awareness for this need isn’t present.
GO just recently hosted an event called Pure to raise awareness for the water projects we’ll be constructing this summer in Panama. Various artists from around the states created pieces highlighting water, justice, and people, which were sold to support the building of water purification systems. It was such a cool way to get the message across to Tulsa and give people an opportunity to help with what we’re doing.
Recently I’ve focused so much on planning the trip I almost forgot to be excited for it! The TOMS day and the PURE art show reminded me of what I’m going to be a part of in less than eight weeks! As I work hard at fundraising and say no to Starbucks or the cute shoes in the window, I know it will all be worth it when I’m running barefoot in the sand with all the little kids on the San Blas Islands!