St. Ambrose University students had the opportunity to show their creative side during the TOMS club Style Your Sole event on March 5.
Co-Presidents Abby Tichler and Jenny Morris founded the TOMS club in February of 2011 and the club has been consistently growing.
“Jenny and I knew we wanted to host a Style Your Sole event since we started the club,” Tichler said. “It always looked super fun to have a bunch of friends come, be creative and take home a one of a kind pair of TOMS. But the issue we had was money.”
Tichler and Morris spent more than a year doing fundraising in order to build up a club account so students would able to decorate a blank pair of TOMS shoes. This fall, they met with SGA who was able to give them $1,000 to help make this event possible. Immediately the girls started making flyers, sending emails and inviting all their friends to participate. Between the money raised and the donation from SGA, the club could afford 35 participants. As soon as the invitations were sent out, responses came flying in and in less than 24 hours the event was filled to capacity.
“TOMS is a great organization that raises awareness about social justice issues that all students should be aware of,” Morris said. “Putting on such events brings people from across the campus together in order for such issues to be made aware of.”
6 million people live without shoes. Going barefoot can lead to diseases, and inability to get a job or attend school. For every pair of TOMS shoes that is purchased, a pair is donated to someone in need.
The next event the TOMS club plans on hosting is One Day Without Shoes on April 16. This date is celebrated all over the world by going barefoot for the entire day, raising awareness about the 6 million people who go barefoot daily. The TOMS club will hold a concert in the Rogalski Center Ballroom with live music, door prizes and fun activities. Students must be barefoot to be granted admission.
“I personally love TOMS for many reasons,” Tichler said. “I know that my purchase not only benefits me, but I am also giving a free pair of shoes to someone around the world that desperately needs them.
Tichler feels her fellow members share the same feelings and goals.
“The students involved with the TOMS club here on campus are great to work with,” she said. “Meetings and events are not a chore when you are surrounded with friends.”
The TOMS club has about 200 students on their mailing list. Meetings are held on Wednesday’s at 7 p.m. in the Student Leadership Center in the lower Rogalski Center. Students interested in getting involved can email firstname.lastname@example.org.