National Go Barefoot Day Date in the current year: June 1, 2024

National Go Barefoot Day National Go Barefoot Day, also known as National Barefoot Day, is celebrated annually on June 1. This fun holiday encourages people to walk barefoot more but it was first and foremost created to support a charity that provides underprivileged children with shoes.

National Go Barefoot Day was launched by Soles4Souls (S4S), a charity that puts unwanted shoes and clothing to good use to provide relief to people in need, fight poverty, and protect the planet by reducing waste. The inaugural observance was a response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that killed over 227,000 people in 14 countries and left over a million people displaced and impoverished. The inaugural campaign was a success, and National Go Barefoot Day became an annual charitable event to help those in need.

Shoes are an essential item that many people take for granted. We don’t really think about the fact that a simple pair of shoes gives us the opportunity to go to school or work, and protects us from injury and disease. Meanwhile, a staggering number of people around the globe have inadequate shoes or don’t have any footwear at all, which robs them of many opportunities that could enable them to break the cycle of poverty.

According to estimates, about 300 million children around the globe don’t have a single pair of shoes, and those who only have one pair of shoes they will quickly outgrow. Children who don’t have shoes can’t go to school and are more vulnerable to soil-transmitted diseases, including tetanus that can be fatal, and injuries from regular physical activity such as running and jumping. People in poor countries often make their own clothes, but shoes are much harder to make, and so children have to go without.

To help those more fortunate understand at least a fraction of what these people are going through, Soles4Souls invites to observe National Go Barefoot Day by spending a whole day in someone else’s lack of shoes or at least doing something barefoot: walking their dog, pulling weeds in the garden, etc. Don’t forget to snap a photo of your bare feet and post it on social media with the hashtag #GoBarefootDay to raise awareness of the cause and encourage others to participate.

There are many health benefits to walking around barefoot, but you need to take certain precautions to do it safely. Steer clear of the surfaces that can injure your feet and watch the ground in front of your feet to avoid stepping on dangerous objects. Upon returning home, wash your feet immediately and check them for cuts, puncture wounds, and other injuries. Do not walk barefoot if you have unhealed cuts, cracked soles, warts, or any other injuries that may get infected. And make sure your tetanus vaccination is up to date!

Raising awareness by walking barefoot is just one of the many ways to get involved with National Go Barefoot Day. You can also make a difference by helping someone in need: donate your gently worn shoes to Soles4Souls or any other organization that helps people in vulnerable circumstances such as your local homeless shelter, donate or host a fundraiser for a charity of your choice, or organize a shoe drive in your community.

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