One Day Without Shoes

The ten thousand pairs of collected shoes piled into a regular sized bus.
The ten thousand pairs of collected shoes piled into a regular sized bus.

On April 5, the A.E. Finley YMCA hosted the “One Day Without Shoes” (ODWS)  walk to raise money and collect shoes for less fortunate children in Africa.

TOMS, a popular shoe brand, supported the event, and for every pair of TOMS bought, a child in Africa receives a pair. For those not able to attend the event, TOMS could be bought through the A.E. Finley YMCA website.

The YMCA also encouraged to donate old pairs of shoes to the cause. For every donated pair of shoes, TOMS would match the donation with a new pair.

Jeffrey Burruss, sophomore, participated in the event. “It was very successful,” said Burruss. “We had three to four hundred people attend, and everyone seemed to have a really good time.”

The event consisted of what Burruss described as “foot-related” games. ODWS attendees participated in games of soccer, the painting of a TOMS themed flag, and decorating shirts with footprints, all bare-footed, of course.

In total, the YMCA organizations of the Triangle area donated over 9,000 pairs of TOMS, with the A.E. Finley branch contributing 4,000 of that number.


  1. What a fantastic event! I love hearing stories about human kindness. It reminds us all that there are plenty of good things going on in our world. God Bless!


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