The Cuban American Student Association at the University of South Florida doesn’t just talk about changing the world, they do it. This year, CASA is rivaling their event Color Your Sole with CASA’s Bulls for Human Rights.
“We’re taking last year’s TOMS shoes event and expanding on it,” Stacey Galvez, CASA’s public relations chair said, “We’re making it bigger and better.”
CASA will once again feature TOMS, shoes for tomorrow, a company that provides a pair of shoes to a person in an underdeveloped country for every pair of shoes purchased. CASA is also supporting three other organizations, all of which are helping people around the world.
The first organization, World Vision, works with children, families and their communities worldwide to help solve the causes of poverty and injustice. CASA is raffling souvenirs from local sports teams to help raise money to buy animals for needy families.
The second not-for-profit is the Pulsera Project, Galvez said, it buys and sells hand-woven bracelets made by Nicaraguan youths and artisan families and sells them in the U.S. The proceeds benefit more than 300 children of the Los Quinchos and Sí a La Vida children’s shelters. CASA has been at Bull Market selling the pulseras for $5, which will also be featured at the event.
The third not-for-profit, Cell Phones for Cuba, collects donated cell phones. The phones that can be fixed are sent to Cuba, and the ones that can’t are recycled. The money is used to buy calling cards for Cuba, Galvez said. CASA is encouraging event attendees to bring used cell phones to donate, students hope to collect about 80 phones.
“We wanted to expand people’s minds and show them that there are all these people helping out around the world,” Galvez said. “The least we can do is help them help others.”
CASA, along with 15 other organizations on campus are helping run the event. These organizations came together to get $800 from businesses like Fade Masters Barbershop and Real Estate One. CASA also worked with USF’s Amnesty International to purchase t-shirts for the event.
CASA’s Bulls for Human Rights is a partnership, not just of USF students, but of the Tampa community.
Everything from painting shoes to free food and performances will be featured outside the Marshall Center. Performances will take place from 6-10 PM in Marshall Center Amphitheater. The Ambassay, a ska band comprised of USF students, is scheduled to perform at CASA’s event.
Darrin Gobble, the band’s guitar player, said that the band often performs at charity events.
“We love music and we love to give back. Any time we get to jam it gives as much back to us as it does to other people,” Gobble said.
Giving back to other people is a cornerstone of CASA’s event, but the students also hope to promote understanding.
TOMS’ website informs people that millions of children go without shoes and risk infection and disease every day. Part of TOMS’ mission is to help people understand what others go through.
One Day Without Shoes allowed participants to experience the pain of people who walk in dangerous places without shoes.
The movement for One Day Without Shoes is mostly grassroots. TOMS gives people the tools they need to promote the event to friends and family. Christina Kellagher, a junior majoring in anthropology, heard about the event through a Facebook invite.
“I like being barefoot. We have the luxury in western civilization to have shoes,” Kellagher said, “People should experience what it’s like and have empathy for people in other countries.”