Kentucky man going barefoot for a year to raise money for those without shoes
It's -10ºC in Louisville, Kentucky, today. And one of its residents is not wearing shoes.
Richard Hudgins is going barefoot for a year, raising money for people around the world who can't afford footwear.
"Millions of children are without shoes and these kids are dying and having their limbs cut off just because they don't have anything to protect their feet," he told WDRB.
Hudgins is 50 days into his 365-day adventure, and so far, it's been a cold one.
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"The day it started was the day before it snowed, it was December 4th," he told WDRB. "Just that first hour and a half, I was like no way I can't do this, there's no way."
"I'm really waiting for my feet to build up the tolerance, it hurts," the father of one added.
And while some people have stared at or challenged his bare feet in restaurants and stores, Hudgins said the response, overall, has been positive. At Wild Hairz Salon, where Hudgins works as a stylist, not only are customers unfazed by a barefoot stylist, they bring in donations. One even made him a homemade pair of cardboard shoes.
"These are my golden shoes," Hudgins said of the cardboard pair. "These are my trophies."
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According to his fundraising page, Hudgins has raised more than $2,000 — enough for 52 pairs of shoes — of his $25,000 goal so far.
TOMS has offered to donate a pair of shoes for each pair Hudgins collects. The donated shoes will be distributed both locally and in Third World countries, Pioneer News reported.
"I have a year to do this," Hudgins said of his ambitious quest. "That's a long time. You only live once. If I didn't do it now I'd never learn. It's a precious thing that I have. Not a lot of people live, they are existing. Ever since I've taken my shoes off, life has been 110 percent positive."