More than 300 million people go without shoes every day around the world. That’s 600 million bare feet exposed to the grit of daily life.
One group of Butler University business students is encouraging people to go barefoot and support a cause that helps lower these statistics.
Starting at 3 p.m. on Feb. 4, the Reilly Room will host the musical stylings of Kevin Crafton and the High Tides and Shiny Penny and the Critical Shoes— both of which feature Butler students.
In collaboration with Samaritan’s Feet, a group that raises money to give shoes to children in need, a sophomore Real Business Experience group, BU Entertainment, hopes to raise awareness through a free barefoot benefit concert.
Andrew Wallace, a sophomore accounting major and CEO of BU Entertainment, said people should come to support their fellow Butler students and a great cause.
“[Students will be] supporting a charity that delivers shoes to kids who have never been given anything, let alone shoes,” Wallace said.
The idea to begin this group stemmed from Wallace noticing immense musical talent among his peers who weren’t necessarily music majors. Doris Almaraz, a sophomore Spanish and accounting double major and the CFO of BU Entertainment, said Wallace wanted to start a business that would provide resources and a break for hidden talents.
“What better way to give back than to partner with a charity that raises money to give shoes that are critically needed by millions of children all over the world?” Almaraz said.
But with this benefit concert, the group’s mission has gone beyond just giving a band a chance to headline their own show. The group is raising awareness for a very real problem, and most importantly, a problem that has a solution.
Brad DiCarlo, a sophomore pre-physical therapy major and a member of Shiny Penny and the Critical Shoes, said he didn’t realize how many people went without shoes and now feels honored to be a part of something that raises awareness and gives back in a creative way.
JT Thomas, a sophomore international studies and Spanish major and COO of the group, said that as much as the guys in the band love to wear their critical shoes, the band will not have them on at the concert.
“My initial reaction to playing barefoot was, ‘Shoot, this is going to be a challenge switching my guitar pedals with my toes,’” DiCarlo said.
Thomas said the most difficult part of coordinating the event has been making sure everything comes together smoothly.
But said he’s up for the challenge, and so is BU Entertainment.
“I am anxious to play this concert at a sweet venue like Butler and for this really great cause,” DiCarlo said. “It will definitely be a rockin’ show.”