"Shoe the world"
March 15 is officially "National Shoe The World" day. Wondering what it means for you and the rest of the world? Read on, friends, as we show you two truly impacting ways you can celebrate this day that deserves to be observed. 😉
Food, shelter, and clothes are the basic needs of every life. And, as hard as it is to sometimes imagine or remember, shoes are a basic part of life that are often forgotten. In fact, more than 500 MILLION people on earth are either without footwear or lack access to adequate footwear.
That number is a little hard to wrap our minds around, but think of all the ways it can happen:
- climate emergencies through fire, hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding
- Loss of home and shelter through the insanity of war
- Statelessness and lack of access to social systems
- The grind of poverty and lack of adequate standard of living
In fact, many people who find themselves in these places in life look a lot like you and me. They are parents and children and they are people who, although they didn't ask for it, may find themselves in a critical time that calls out for dignity and help.
Without proper footwear (or any at all), a lifetime of problems can happen, such as pain, injury, cuts, or even parasites.
Shoes matter because they are one of the foundational pieces of our well being.
National "Shoe The World Day" was created by the United Indigenous People in Fontana, California, inspired by Donald Zsemonadi in March 2014. And we (obviously!) love to celebrate this day.
Good shoes and foot protection matters for all of us.
Here are two of the best ways we invite you to celebrate National "Shoe The World Day" with us:
First, the most obvious and helpful way to actually "Shoe the World" is to donate.
HOWEVER, not all donation options are equal.
If you truly want to pass on your shoes to meet a crisis, we suggest donating to organizations that show one or more of the following:
- They specialize in shoe donations (ie. Soles4Souls)
- They have a clear, upfront plan for how those shoes are getting to a population quickly (ie. war and crisis)
- They are not simply selling on your shoes through their own supply chains (while this helps sustainability, it isn't the most efficient way to help the most vulnerable who actually need shoes due to crisis)
The second way you can mark and honour "Shoe the World" Day may surprise you, but...
There is also a long term way to honour "Shoe the World" Day.
The simple way you can do that is considering every day how you shop BUT for a reason we have not ever talked about before.
Shop for the planet? Yes, obviously, shop for the planet.
But, the way to do that is bigger than today.
Buy shoes that last.
Buy shoes that can be repaired.
Buy shoes that when you are done loving them, they can be fully loved by someone else.
It's possible to love what you own. From the story behind how it's made, to the adventures you have with it, to the places it can go after it has left your life.
Buy shoes that, should you be ready to say good bye to them, you will have peace of mind that they will serve someone else well, too. Do it for the bigger picture, and do it because you are worth it, too.