One Day Without Shoes

On Tuesday, April 10, students of RMU decided to participate in the event “One Day Without Shoes.” The event was affiliated with the organization, TOMS.

The shoe company delivers shoes to third world countries where individuals are not fortunate enough to have shoes. The system works like this: when a customer buys one pair of shoes, a second pair is shipped overseas to third world countries. The purpose of “One Day Without Shoes,” is for participants to walk around for one full day without shoes on and experience what those in third world countries go through on a daily basis.

Alan Buehler, a student at Robert Morris, was able to build awareness by experiencing the “One Day Without Shoes” on campus. This is Buehler’s second year participating in the event; he even organized a t-shirt making event to explain why he and fellow supporters were not wearing shoes that day. Buehler speculated that around 30-40 people participated this year. Although one day may seem like not much, the weather created a challenge for the TOMS supporters.

“Honestly, after 25 minutes of doing it this year, I felt like giving up. I was walking from Salem all the way to my car which just happened to be on the opposite end of the gravel lot. It was raining this morning and I was walking on rocks and through wet grass and it was unbearable,” said Buehler. “It was a chilly and rainy day, making the walking conditions not very ideal.”

“A lot of people couldn’t make it one day without wearing shoes, now think of how bad it would be to be a child and go ten years without any shoes,” said Buehler.

Ryan Palaschak, a sophomore at RMU, also participated in “One Day Without Shoes.”

“I decided to participate in One Day Without Shoes because TOMS is doing a good thing for the world and getting the word around is important for the company to grow larger,” said Palaschak.

This was his first year in participating in this event and the day was not very easy for him either; Palaschak was caught in a controversy in Romo’s Café because he was not wearing shoes. An employee brought over a sign saying you must wear shoes in order to be served because it is not sanitary. He disagreed with their thinking.

“I pay tuition here and I think I have the right to be served.”

Both Buehler and Palaschak said that they would definitely participate in this event next year. Both are hoping that by doing it this year, even more people will be encouraged to participate with them in following years.