By Tess Malijenovsky
On Tuesday, April 10, Higher Ground Outfitters both presented a check to Friends of Hunting Island and campaigned for One Day Without Shoes — an international movement to spread awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life, sponsored by Toms shoes.
Every year Higher Ground puts on PaddleFest, a three- or six-mile race via kayak or standup paddleboard that launches from the lagoon in Hunting Island State Park. Last November was the outfitter’s seventh year in the tradition, which raises proceeds for Friends of Hunting Island. Tim Lovett, owner of Higher Ground, presented Jon Greene, President of Friends of Hunting Island, and Jeff Atkins, State Park Manager, with a check for more than $1,300 for the Discover Outdoors Program of Hunting Island State Park on the behalf of Friends of Hunting Island.
Lovett and his staff, Leslie Norris and Josh Henderson, were barefoot on the job at the scene of the check’s presentation. Higher Ground, a retailer of Toms shoes, was participating in One Day Without Shoes. The idea behind the campaign is that seeing someone in a store barefoot is unnatural to Americans. The curiosity sparks conversation about the cause: Millions of children live without proper footwear, exposing them to injury and disease every day. For every pair of Toms purchased, the company gives another pair to a child in need of shoes.
When the outfitter isn’t hanging out with Friends of Hunting Island shoeless, it is open in Beaufort Town Center, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.