Big step today for concerned Bay residents

Vuyolwethu Hole

GETTING as many people as possible barefoot in the boardroom today is part of a global campaign to collect shoes for thousands of children.

One Day Without Shoes is a global initiative to raise awareness about the challenges and dangers faced by children who walk barefoot to school.

Organisations around Nelson Mandela Bay are joining forces to collect shoes. It could not have come at a better time for some of the beneficiaries.

“This came at the perfect time as winter is around the corner. Brand new school shoes are a luxury for our children – most of their parents are unemployed or ill,” Stephen Mazungula Primary School principal Noskhumbuzo Mjekula said.

EP Child and Youth Care Centre director Terry Hattingh said: “Most of the children in the centre receive second-hand shoes. A brand new pair of shoes will really improve their self-esteem … ”

Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber chief executive Kevin Hustler said companies who participated in the initiative demonstrated “the proactive and passionate side of business”. The chamber collected more than 900 pairs of shoes last year.

Boomtown Strategic Brand Agency’s Luvuyo Bangazi said this was the second time they would be involved as they wanted to play their part in society. “We take things for granted; many children in our communities don’t even attend school because they don’t have shoes,” Bangazi said.

The initiative was started in 2006 in the United States by TOMS shoes founder Blake Mycoskie. TOMS has since donated two million pairs of shoes to children in need.

New shoes in any size, type or colour can be dropped off at the business chamber offices, 200 Norvic Drive, Greenacres, and KingfisherFM at King’s Court.

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