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Shoes and socks are basic everyday items often over looked, but necessary in so many ways. Protect our feet from the harsh elements of the ground and keep us free of contracting diseases, such as parasites and other illnesses. Not to mention, wearing the wrong size shoe can cause us to have structural foot deformities. Socks absorb sweat that is produced by the feet and keep us warm during cold seasons. Socks keep the feet free of bacteria and fungi that cause diseases, like athlete’s foot, and they also help prevent calluses.

Yet why are so many people without these basic necessities? The official poverty rate, according to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2016 was estimated to be 12.7% in America alone. Meaning that in 2016, an estimated 43.1 million Americans lived in poverty. According to World Bank, an updated survey completed in April 2018 indicated that the number of poor increased from 769 million to 783 million people worldwide. According to Global Issues Organization, almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day and at least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.

When we look at disease, more than 1.5 billion people are infected with parasitic diseases transmitted through contaminated soil that could be prevented by wearing proper shoes. Barefoot individuals living in extreme poverty who are unable to purchase shoes risk injury and risk contracting diseases while searching for food or household items in garbage dumps and abandoned buildings, or while walking through open sewers and contaminated paths. A new study done in America reveals that hookworm survives in communities of Americans lacking basic sanitation in a breathtaking scale, as 1 in every 3 in a rural area tested positive for Necator americanus, a parasitic hookworm. The parasite, better known as hookworm, enters the body through the skin, usually through the soles of bare feet, and travels around the body until it attaches itself to the small intestine where it proceeds to suck the blood of its host. Over months or years it may cause iron deficiency and/or anemia, weight loss, tiredness, and impaired mental function. According to the World Health Organization there are currently 2 billion people infected with parasites in more than 100 countries.

Walk Hard Foundation believes that shoes and socks lower the risk of injury and are preventative tools to minimize diseases. The Every Step Matters Program is designed to meet this basic necessity for underprivileged or needy individuals while promoting a better life and wellbeing.  We believe that shoes and socks are a hope for living a better life for so many, and a chance to impact the lives of those in need because every step taken by each individual matters.

When we donate shoes and socks to needy individuals, we know it is a gift that will last for years, enabling them to be one step ahead on a path towards a better quality of life. Walk Hard Foundation supports both local and global efforts, but believes in supporting the local community first. Walk Hard Foundation partners with local school districts, churches, foster homes, adult centers, other community outreach programs, and global partners to reach the neediest individuals. Walk Hard Foundation believes every individual should have the opportunity to walk with confidence towards a better future.  Every Step Matters is dedicated to improving the lives and wellbeing of others through every new shoe and sock donated.

“Every Step Matters, Walk Hard towards a better future.”

Walk Hard Foundation

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