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Students Walking Without Shoes

Approximately 500 Barrington High School students have pledged to walk without shoes today as part of Gabby Palko's senior project; you can donate shoes as well.

Approximately 500 Barrington High School students have pledged to walk without shoes today.

The students pledged to go shoeless as part of the national campaign, One Day Without Shoes, sponsored by Toms Shoes, which donates a pair of shoes to a child for every pair you buy. The students' journey will include a 1-mile walk around the track.

“The day is actually April 10,” said Gabby Palko, who is organizing the local campaign as her senior project. “But we couldn’t do it then. Senior projects are due by April 1. So we moved it up to tomorrow (March 22).”

Gabby said One Day Without Shoes will “expose us to the problems” that people without shoes, especially children, endure – such as injuries and disease.

“That’s the point of the project,” she said. “To show how horrible it is to live without shoes.”

Gabby took pledges for three days in the cafeteria. She anticipates that more than 500 students will come to school only with socks on their feet. Being barefoot is prohibited.

Gabby also is providing a collection bag in the foyer inside the main entrance of the high school for anyone who wants to donate a pair of shoes or boots or sneakers for the nonprofit organization, Soles4Souls. It distributes shoes to people in the Third World and for disaster relief, she said.

“Look for the sign in the foyer,” she said. “We’ll be taking a road trip to Soles4Soul’s location in New Jersey to drop off the donations.”

The primary purpose of One Day Without Shoes, of course, is to experience what it’s like to not own a pair of shoes.

Gabby discovered the campaign last spring, but it was too late to do it last year. She filed away her discovery for her senior project.

You, too, can go a day without shoes on April 10, she said, “by signing up on the Toms Shoes website.”

It’s a day that “raises awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life by going without shoes,” according to Toms Shoes.

See a story on One Day Without Shoes in the Barrington Times.

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