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People around the world will forgo shoes on April 5. The popular shoe company TOMS has planned an event to raise awareness about children who do not own shoes. Students will be looking to bring this event to Fairfield campus.

One Day Without Shoes asks participants to go about their day without wearing shoes, just like many unfortunate children must do every day in economically disadvantaged places of the world.

Not having footwear poses dangerous health threats to children, because cuts and scrapes from walking on rocky ground increase the chance of disease transmission.

Last year, the TOMS club succeeded in organizing an on-campus event for One Day Without Shoes. They had a “No Shoes” hangout on the Oak Room lawn for participants. They also created a banner that had all of the participants’ footprints on it.

“I started the TOMS Club to raise an overall awareness about the company and its message,” said the club’s former president Emily Robillard ‘11. “As a business major, I found the business model very innovative and inspiring in shaping the idea of ‘conscious consumerism’—an overall insight into what your purchases are going to support in the long run.”

Cristina Richardson ’14 will be assisting Robillard in next month’s event.

“When I look at the movement that TOMS shoes has created, I can’t help but ask what I can do in any small way,” she said. “And on April 5 we can all do something together to experience just for one day what children and adults have to suffer through every single day.”

This year, however, it has been difficult to find the time to keep the club going, said Robillard. Although there is no official TOMS club on campus this year, Robillard and Richardson still plan to see that the event happens.

TOMS, started in 2006 by Entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie, is also known for its ‘one for one’ movement. For every pair of shoes that a customer buys, the company will give a pair to a child in need. TOMS also provides assistance in health and education.

So far, through partnerships with numerous humanitarian organizations situated around the world, TOMS has helped 23 countries including South Africa, Peru and Malawi.

All interested people should contact Emily Robillard at e.robillard@student.fairfield.edu if they would like to help or to participate in the shoeless events throughout the day.

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