Mary K goes barefoot

From April 9, 2010

… sort- of…

well, as much as you can in Manhattan…

In 2008, during DAT’s first trip to Ecuador, I was shocked.

Un Grupo de Tres!!! (A group of 3) 2008

We spent a few days in La Selva (The Jungle) teaching and playing in the El Pilche Community on the Napo River.  We had the opportunity to meet 100 lively children– over half of whom, spent our day together running through the community completely barefoot!  While we wore big rubber galoshes, many of these children stomped around in the mud with gauze bandages over open wounds, made by rocks and sticks and glass and anything else these adventurous young feet could find.

As I said, I was shocked.

While gearing up for our 2009 ACTion:Ecuador project, we put out a request for children’s socks and shoes.  Together with the ACTion Artists and our community, we were able to bring over 250 pairs of shoes and hundreds of pairs of socks for this community.

Yesterday, I heard about an organization’s event to raise awareness for all of the children in the world who go without shoes everyday.  One Day Without Shoes is run byTOMS shoe company, and is celebrated on April 8th.  Well, of course, I had to join in!

My feet, after a full day “without” shoes

I live in Manhattan… so, I did the best I could.  I pulled out the flattest pair of sandal’s I own and strapped them on for my long walking day in the city (I would have normally worn my keens, which are AMAZING for walking around anywhere)!  Man, were my feet tired when I finally got home at 1:15 AM!  It was a long day, and a lot of walking; I figured out I walked about 73 blocks and took 8 trips up and down from my 4th floor apartment!  Anyone offering foot massages?

One thing we’re really striving to do with our theatre productions is bring awareness to issues like this: SHOELESS CHILDREN, and attempt to connect people with organizations who are doing things to support the issue.  TOMS shoe company has pledged to match every pair of shoes sold with a pair they will send to someone without shoes.

I thought about these kids all day, with every step I took.  There’s nothing like ACTION!  If your kids have outgrown their shoes, try to find an organization in your area that collects lightly worn shoes for needy kids in your area.  (There are kids who need our support in America too, this is not an issue that effects other places; we need to support the people in our backyards, as well as our neighbors across oceans.)

We are collecting shoes for Ecuador again this year, and we are also gearing up for a project in Louisiana.  Please VOTE for DAT to be granted $50,000 for our Louisiana Project!

I’ll be sure to remind you about ONE DAY WITHOUT SHOES next April!