Right now, a child in Ethiopia is walking to school without shoes.
Salisbury University students have the opportunity to help the less fortunate through the newly formed TOMS Shoes Club, by raising awareness for the TOMS Shoes Organization and helping to extend its impact on the world through fundraising and donations.
TOMS is a non-profit organization whose main source of funding is through donations. The organization has a “One for One Movement,” which means that when a person buys a pair of TOMS, another separate pair of is donated to someone who cannot afford them.
“When you think of TOMS, you think of a good cause,” said senior and English major Sana Haque. “TOMS works to help people in need, and I’ll be excited if the club does the same.” Haque attended the TOMS interest meeting on Wednesday.
Although the club has yet to be approved by the Student Government Association, president Jess Langrehr has already brainstormed many goals and events in order to help those in need, including shoe drives, trips to the Salisbury Roller Rink, and weekly shoe donations. Langrehr also hopes to make at least $1,000 during the first fundraiser.
If approved, TOMS Club aims to follow in the footsteps of the TOMS Shoes Organization by donating shoes to those who need them. Students have the opportunity to give back, and even save lives.
Even students who have never heard of TOMS shoes believe that the club will be an interesting addition to the school. Senior physical education major Eric Perlowitz is one of them.
“This club will definitely be good for Salisbury,” Perlowitz said. “It’s a good way for this school to make more of a difference.”
At the SGA meeting on Sept. 23, Langrehr discussed TOMS, and how it would differ from other organizations on campus.
“We are similar to other clubs in the fact that we want to make a difference; however your differences reside in the idea of literally saving lives,” Langrehr said. “People in third world countries die every day from injuries and illnesses that are preventable merely by wearing shoes. A pair of shoes to us is just another collateral thing. But to one of them, a pair of shoes is a dream come true.”
Langrehr also mentioned that by giving the less fortunate something to wear on their feet, people help them to succeed in life and give hope for better days ahead.
“Something as little as giving a pair of shoes to a person means more than just that- it’s saving their life,” Langrehr said. “Changing a life, including your own, begins with a single step.”
TOMS Club currently consists of about 45 members, and would be open to all majors as well as the public. Many students have already gained an interest in the club, including junior and public relations major Emily Matthews.
“I feel like this club is really going to make students aware of what they can do for those in need,” Mathews said. “Even a little bit of help can make a big difference.”
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