Locals Walk Barefoot to Raise Money for Shoes
Nearly 300 million people go without shoes each day and of that number more than a million die each year from those diseases.
Graham Gibbs raised awareness Saturday by walking the Shiloh Christian cross country course, barefoot. It’s all part of his campaign, ‘One For One Million.’
Foot borne diseases are common among people who do not protect their feet.
“It’s a gigantic problem and it would be a gigantic task to tackle one person by themselves but if everybody joins together to do it then it can be done,” said Desty Ellis, who walked more than six miles barefoot.
For nearly a decade the non-profit organization, Samaritan’s Feet, has been raising money to provide new shoes to those who otherwise wouldn’t own any at all.
“I went to Africa with this organization in 2009 and saw people that literally have to walk 5 miles for water barefoot and so this is me kind of honoring them and the things that they have to deal with worldwide,” explains Gibbs.
Gibbs said his past barefoot awareness walks have torn up his feet.
“The pain is definitely going to challenge me. I have a low threshold for pain so it’s going to be a mental challenge but it’s for a good cause and I hope that it raises awareness, not only for the need for shoes abroad but also here domestically.”
After finishing the walk he said he enjoyed putting his shoes back on, a comfort that many around the world will never know.
As for his feet, he says they feel okay today, but he’s expecting a few blisters tomorrow.
The funds raised will go to Samaritan’s Feet.
According to the World Health Organization there are currently 2 billion people infected with these diseases in more than 100 countries.
Samaritan’s Feet’s mission is to put 10 million pairs of shoes on the feet of 10 million children within the next 10 years.