Concordia students bare soles for causeA Concordia College effort to raise awareness for children worldwide who don’t have shoes is getting attention on CNN.com. About 400 Concordia students recently participated in an international event called One Day Without Shoes, where students walked around barefoot all day.
By: By Amy Dalrymple, Forum Communications Co. , The Jamestown Sun
MOORHEAD, Minn. — A Concordia College effort to raise awareness for children worldwide who don’t have shoes is getting attention on CNN.com.
About 400 Concordia students recently participated in an international event called One Day Without Shoes, where students walked around barefoot all day.
Communication major Gia Rassier produced a community journalism video for CNN’s iReport that appeared on the CNN.com home page and has had more than 36,000 views.
The event was started by TOMS Shoes, an organization that donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes purchased.
A new student organization called TOMS Concordia encouraged students to participate in the international event.
Rassier called the day an “eye-opening experience.”
“I don’t think you realize how hard it is to go without shoes until you have to,” Rassier said.
Concordia students Brita Shoemaker and Steph Barnhart like the TOMS business model of “one for one” and started the student organization last fall.
The TOMS organization focuses on shoes because many children in developing countries grow up barefoot, putting them at risk for soil-transmitted diseases, injuries or infections. Some children also can’t attend school if shoes are a required part of the uniform.
The cause has resonated with Concordia students, and more than 100 have joined the organization.
Students who participated in One Day Without Shoes recognized that they are lucky they had nice grass and smooth concrete to walk on, Barnhart said.
Rassier said she was shocked to get a phone call from CNN after she produced a 2-minute video about the Concordia event. The video has helped students bring the cause to more people’s attention, she said.
Amy Dalrymple is a reporter at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by
Forum Communications Co.