TOMS club goes a day without shoes

Today, the TOMS club will be seen at the Scramble Light with shoeless students as part of the annual "One Day Without Shoes" event.

"TOMS company as a whole is a company that is a one-for-one sales model," said Hannah Smalley, a junior exercise science major and TOMS representative. "Any product that you purchase, they donate something of equal value to a child in need."

The Ball State TOMS club has been an on-campus club for three years and became an official organization last fall, Smalley said.

"We do coordinate with a lot of other clubs on campus," she said. "Networking is something that really helps us get our cause out there."

On Thursday night, TOMS is holding an event at Be Here Now in the Village that starts at 8:30 p.m. and is open to all ages, Allison Troutner, a junior anthropology major and president of the Ball State TOMS club, said.

There will be a $4 dollar cover for those 18 years old and up and a $3 dollar cover for those 21 years old and older.

Those interested in TOMS' message can find out during activities at the Scramble Light tomorrow from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m..

"We are going to have three different boxes, and in each of those boxes there's going to be a different type of ground material," Troutner said. "So there's going to be rocks, gravel, mulch or grass in these three different boxes, and we're going to allows student to walk through the boxes to see what it's like for people who have to walk without shoes everyday."

Not everyone will want to take off their shoes tomorrow, but there will still be opportunities to learn more about the "One Day Without Shoes" event.

"We also have a little foot quiz, and we're also going to be giving away prizes for the person who gets the most right." Troutner said. "We have some information cards that we'll be handing out to people and discussing with them."

Junior anthropology major and TOMS representative Emma Hofeling said TOMS is more than just a shoe company.

"It's grown into more than just a shoe company," Hofeling said. "Now they [sell] sunglasses, and every time you buy a pair of sunglasses, they donate either eyeglasses or sight-saving surgery or medical treatment to someone in need."

All of the representatives said they feel the TOMS message for tomorrow's event, "Go without shoes so kids don't have to," is the message they hope students receive.

"There are people out there who need help and TOMS has, in my opinion, a brilliant idea for how to help them," Hofeling said. "Because people tend to be a little self-centered in thinking about themselves and TOMS, you're buying something for yourself and giving to someone else, so you're satisfying your self's needs as well as thinking about others.

"So the message is just help people. Be aware that there are people out there who need your help and you should do whatever you can to help them."