Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A YEAR WITHOUT SHOES ::day 261::

::day 261::  Tuesday, April 24.  This week has been incredibly hectic, and I'm only three days in!  Last saturday was Prom for Gobles High School, so that exciting!  I'm very happy to report that everything went smoothly for my shoeless-ness, and I had no trouble with people trying to kick me out or anything along those lines! All of the chaperones were teachers from my school, so they didn't have any issues with me attending prom barefoot.  I have to admit, I did have people step on my feet quite a bit, but that wasn't a big enough deal; to get me down.  Also, it doesn't hurt nearly as much as most people think it does.

I would also like to give a huge thanks to Bloomingdale MIDDLE SCHOOL, for their amazing work gathering funds for AYWOS.  It was recently brought to my attention that the middle school student council organized their participation in One Day Without Shoes, which was responsible for the check of $170.00!  Thank you guys so much! I'm extremely impressed!

AYWOS also recently received a check for $365.00. I'm not sure why, but i thought this was really cool.  If you think about it, not only did they donate a dollar for everyday I go barefoot, they also paid for one dollar's worth of every pair of shoes we give! How cool is that? Maybe everyone should do it, so they can all have a one dollar claim in each of the shoes.  Just a suggestion of course. I thought it would be pretty cool. Anyway, I hope you are all having amazing weeks, good bye, and God bless.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A YEAR WITHOUT SHOES ::day 252::

::day 252:: Sunday, April 15.  Wow! I have to admit my mom writes a killer blog.  I just can't one up her poetic writing! Oh well, I hope you guys can deal with my simple speech! So, I would've blogged this friday night, but it's been a busy weekend.

One Day Without Shoes was participated in nation wide on Tuesday, April 10, but Gobles High School moved it's individual day without shoes back a couple of days to help get the word out within the school.  I'm happy to report that a lot of the students participated as best they could, and I couldn't be more proud of my classmates!  A lot of them opted to wear socks, feeling that the school floors probably weren't safe for their feet! While I personally endure it on a regular basis, I can't blame them for not wanting to deal with it! I would also like to say that one of my teachers also went without shoes during the day, and it really meant a lot to me.  It's hard to describe, but having this teacher participate in One Day Without Shoes made med really thankful, and honored that he would participate.  If you're reading this, you know who you are, and I'm incredibly grateful for your support!

I would also like to give a huge thanks to my friends at Bloomingdale High School, who did a wonderful job raising funds for AYWOs, and raising awareness.  From what I've heard, they managed to raise $170.00!!! I'm amazed that these kids were willing to help me out in such a huge way!

I guess that's all for now, I hope you guys enjoyed participating in One Day Without Shoes! Good bye, and God bless!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A YEAR WITHOUT SHOES ::day 247::

    Hey AYWOS friends!!  It is Keegan’s mom writing this blog today!  Today was a pretty big day across America as far as barefoot people are concerned.  It is “One Day without Shoes” which is promoted by the TOMS Company.  TOMS is a great company that functioned on the concept of “self-sustained giving”.  Their “one for one” means that for each pair of shoes you buy, they donate a pair to someone in need.  Pretty cool!!  April 10th is the day when people across our great country (and maybe around the world? I’m not sure…) bare their feet as a means of raising awareness about the need.  I think it is also a means of creating solidarity of purpose.   So…I figured that since my son is baring his tootsies for an entire year that the least I can do is bare mine for one day, right?  Well, I’m just here to say that it wasn’t quite as easy as dear Keegan makes it appear!!  First of all, we have had an incredibly warm spring here in the mitten state.  But, wouldn’t ya know it; the temperature dropped into the 30’s and it even snowed a little today?!?!  Figures!  Anyway, on with my day…
   My first steps out of the house each morning are into the garage which currently has a lovely layer of winter grit, grim and dried salt crusted on the floor.  In keeping with the grit, I gritted my teeth and walked the ten whole steps to the car.  Getting in the van made me wish I had bribed, coerced or even cajoled the kids into vacuuming it over spring break…ugg, more grit under my feet!  OK, I was 30 seconds into my day without shoes and already realizing that it might possibly be more challenging than I thought!  The next move was to crank the heater directly on my feet and head to work.
    Arriving at school I made my way across the cold pavement and only winced a couple of times at random sharp stones poking my feet.  (BTW, I am a school teacher so I had to get permission from my principal to be barefoot all day.  She was totally cool with it!)  I made my way down the hall past the curious eyes of still sleepy elementary students.  Many were too tired to notice that their teacher was barefoot. Others gave me questioning glances and some felt the need to announce to me that I had forgotten my shoes.  All the responses made me feel a little devious and well,  just a little weird.  As I rounded the corner, I ran into a co-worker who met me with a big grin.  I looked down and saw that she too had bared her feet. Happy, happy moment!  I suddenly didn’t feel so alone in this venture.  She told me that she had stopped in a convenience store that morning and was asked by the clerk if she had forgotten her shoes.  Upon her explanation of why she was barefoot, the clerk handed her a $5 bill and the guy ahead of her in line said to keep his change.  That little story totally warmed my heart and took the chill out of my toes.  This dear co-worker also handed me a personal check for AYWOS.  Within an hour another co-worker had handed me some cash to add to the donations.  You know, it never ceases to amaze me how the little things that people do in the lives of others can be so meaningful…
    Each class that came into my room demanded an explanation for why I was barefoot.  I patiently tried to explain why I was doing this crazy thing.  There were a few younger students who simply would not or could not believe that my son had gone barefoot during the winter.  Once I showed them the FOX 17 news clip from back in January, they seemed to take me a little more seriously…TV validates everything, don’t ya know?!  They also loved that “Mrs. Scholte was on TV!”  Another beautiful moment was when students from one class asked if they could have a baked goods sale to raise money to help buy some shoes.  I was completely touched by their tender hearts!  And of course, in every class, there were several kids that bared their feet even though I told them they could not!  Oh the life of a specials teacher, but that would be its own blog!
    The most challenging part of the day was going in the gang bathrooms…I don’t have time between classes to make it all the way to the staff bathroom so I have to use the same one that the kids use.  That pretty much did me in having to walk across the floor and stand by the toilet.  Gross, just gross! Made me wonder if Keegan ever was bothered by this…gross, gross, triple gross!! ‘Nuff said!
    Overall, I’m glad I was able to experience this but I’ll be ready to get something under my sore feet by tomorrow morning. I know feet toughen and callouses develop.  I think this experience, be it ever so short, has helped to remind me not to let callouses develop on my heart.  I’m grateful that I have a slew of shoes in my closet. I’m grateful that I have grit on the floor of my garage.  I’m grateful that I have a minivan to drive and heat to crank.  I’m grateful for indoor plumbing.  I’m grateful that I have the means to write a check that will buy some shoes for children who lack so many of these things that I’m grateful for… I’m grateful for a son who is willing to sacrifice his feet for an entire year to make a difference in the lives of children.  I’m grateful for the example of Jesus, who sacrificed so much more than the soles of his feet. It spurs me on to want to be a change agent…even if it takes sacrificing the comfort of my feet.  Blessings!

Monday, April 2, 2012

A YEAR WITHOUT SHOES ::day 239::

::day 239:: Monday, April 2.  Just a quick update about the last couple of days without shoes. The sun is out and so are the bikes!  I love riding my bike, but it never occurred to me that the metal pedals on the bike i rode yesterday would hurt my feet so much!  It looks like I'll have to get fancy with some cardboard and duct tape to give my feet a slightly easier ride!