Apr 27, 2010

Students style their soles

by Karissa Sechrist


The Public Relations Student Society of America and the American Advertising Federation at Liberty University along with TOMSLibertyU hosted the Style Your Sole event on Thursday April 22 in the DeMoss courtyard.  The event aimed to raise awareness for the plight of impoverished children around the world who are forced to walk barefoot.

Students painted T-shirts and watched performances while learning more about the cause of TOMS. 

“We want Liberty students to show Christ’s love to the world in any way they can. Providing a pair of shoes to the widowed and orphaned is a very easy way to do that,” TOMS club President Lauren Edwards said.  

TOMS is a shoe company with the goal to help thousands of children around the world.  For every pair of shoes that TOMS sells, a pair of shoes is given to a child in need.  Edwards was given the opportunity to witness the work of TOMS first hand.  

“Recently, I went to Uganda with Light Ministries and WorldHelp. While I was there I met a young girl, about 10 years old, who was wearing one of the donated pair of TOMS,” Edwards said. “It was just a really encouraging, and unexpected, thing to see. That beautiful young girl now has shoes and is allowed to attend school. It could have been your purchase that made that happen.  That’s a powerful thing.” 

The TOMS club at Liberty University in currently is its first year, but it has already managed to become known among students through events such as “One Day Without Shoes.”  Students did not wear shoes for one day to raise awareness of the many people who go every day without shoes.  

TOMS is currently trying to raise enough money to donate 100 pairs of shoes.  Many students find out about it through word of mouth, or seeing their peers wearing the unique TOMS shoes.

“I saw people walking around campus with the shoes, and I thought the cause was pretty cool,” freshman Roxanne DuBois said.  

Groups other than TOMS also raised awareness at this event.

“It’s really fun to be here. I did not realize that so many other organizations would come,” senior Cindi Fahle said.  

Other organizations in attendance included the Bulgarian Hope Foundation and Smile 4 Africa.  

In addition to the Style Your Sole event, TOMS has raised money and awareness through benefit concerts and fundraisers over the past year.  

“It’s showing the world that people care. Not all American’s are self-absorbed and apathetic,” Edwards said. “Worldwide people buy these shoes because they believe they are bettering the lives of others, and they really are. A simple pair of shoes to us is a lifetime investment for others in need.” 

TOMS is always looking for students who are willing to invest their time and effort into the cause.

“It would be great for Liberty students to get more involved with the TOMS mission and get more involved with the TOMS club.  We are always looking for new members and students to do CSER with us,” Vice President Brittney Phelan said.  


Contact Karissa Sechrist

at kssechrist@liberty.edu. 

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