Giving back, getting back

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By: Maddy Bellew

31-year-old American traveler Blake Mycoskie was traveling in Argentina when he met many children who were walking around dirt roads with no shoes. He then returned to the states to found TOMS, a company that gives a pair of shoes to a child in need every time someone purchases a pair. Mycoskie returned to Argentina later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes donated by TOMS customers.

This fad of fundraising programs that supply their customers with cool and unique products is becoming very popular among NAHS students.

“I heard about TOMS through a close family friend,” said junior Zoe Raines. “When I first met her she wore them all the time and I decided I wanted to have a pair.”

Giving back to underprivileged people is a very rewarding experience. Everyone loves the feeling of giving back, especially senior Alex Coleman.

“I would love to meet the kid and listen to his story,” said senior Alex Coleman. “I would love to hear what he’s been through. To know that I helped in some way would make my day.”

Many children in third world countries grow up without shoes. Whether at play, doing chores or going to school, these children are at risk for many different things. Purchasing a pair of TOMS would help prevent a child from diseases that can be soil-transmitted, cuts, sores, and other infections.

By purchasing a pair of TOMS you also may be helping a child get to school. Certain schools have a specific dress code and if shoes are not worn, they are not allowed to attend.

Unlike those kinds of schools, NAHS fully supported “One Day Without Shoes” which is another helpful and meaningful movement by TOMS. Last year, NAHS let students participate in this by allowing barefoot students to attend school that day to experience what it would be like if you did not own shoes.

Many students participated, making a huge impact on many teachers and students. One student that participated was junior Katie Goodman.

“For me not wearing shoes for one day was nothing,” said Goodman. “I felt awkward, people stared, and I was even denied entrance to stores. Sure, I didn’t enjoy not wearing shoes. I kept thinking about all the germs I was going to step on. But not wearing shoes to show support to Blake Mycoskie’s cause and people in the world was just something I had to do.”

After participating in One Day Without Shoes, Goodman donated twelve pairs of shoes to the Salvation Army to aid the locals without shoes. There are many ways students of NAHS can help underprivileged people. Visit to learn more.

Below are two more charity organizations that also help out in a different way.

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Giving back, getting back