Students go barefoot for social awareness

The South Puget Sound Community College Teachers of Tomorrow club (TOT), in conjunction with TOMS Shoes, hosted an event on April 10 in order to raise awareness about children in the world who do not own shoes and cannot afford to buy shoes.

The overall mission of the TOT club is to get students involved in what it means to work in the field of birth- 12th grade education.

The TOT club hoped to convey the same sense of social awareness to the SPSCC campus through the event.

TOMS Shoes is a company that donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold. One of the negative impacts on the lives of children is access to education. The TOT club wanted to especially emphasize the difficulty children can have getting to school and being successful at school when hosting the event.

“Gone are the times where young people protest and fight for ideas and values so the more we can do to teach skills like that the better off we will be in the future,” said TOT club advisor Caprice Paduano. “Events like One Day Without Shoes can begin to teach people to look outside of themselves,” Paduano said.

“Young people today just don’t do enough to advocate for the underprivileged in this world,” she said. “[The TOT club] wants to do things that benefit the community as a whole.”

The purpose of the event was to host an activity that would be campus wide and allow everyone to become involved said Event Coordinator and SPSCC student Stacy Jurss.

According to Jurss about 40 people came and posed for pictures with their shoes off and a group picture of about 20 people was taken at the end of the event.

“We have students of every age here on campus and what better common ground than helping kids in need,” said Jurss.

The TOT club set up a table outside the Student Union Building and worked to invite people passing by to support One Day Without Shoes and take their shoes off for a picture which can be viewed on the SPSCC event’s Facebook page. TOMS Shoes provided the club with various informational tools about the negative effects of having to live without shoes in order to distribute them on campus. The event also offered t-shirt decorating to those interested.

Efforts for planning, advertising and organizing the event were the responsibility of Jurss and five other volunteers. Posters advertised the event in various buildings around campus and volunteers passed out flyers in the weeks before the event in order to get students, staff, and faculty to come take their shoes off.

Paduano hopes to continue with this event in future years of advising the club. Jurss and Paduano agreed that there are improvements that could be made to create a more successful event such as allotting more time for preparation. Next year Paduano plans to start the club working on the event before spring break.

Last year SPSCC advertised the TOMS Shoes Company’s One Day Without Shoes but no event was held on campus.

According to Jurss TOMS Shoes contacted her about hosting a campus event due to her previous involvement in hosting other TOMS events outside of SPSCC.