Peforms for Crowd of Students
Hanson came to Montclair State University as part of their Walk Around the World Tour on Saturday, sponsored by Class 1 Concerts.
The tour included a one-mile barefoot walk on college campuses across the nation in order to help fight poverty and AIDS in Africa.
"Taking your shoes off is a simple tangible thing that can be done," Taylor Hanson said.
"Something so insignificant to us can help other people who struggle with poverty."
Hanson explained on a phone interview that the reason they are targeting college campuses is because this is a generation that can take action more than a group could before.
According to C1C president Will Senedzuk, about 400 people showed up for the walk and performance after. "Several other students walked barefoot with the band," he said.
The mile that Hanson walked at MSU was their 102nd.
"It wasn't as easy as you thought it might be," Senedzuk, who walked the mile barefoot, said. "The walk really makes you enjoy shoes."
Last year, Hanson completed their goal to donate 50,000 pairs of TOMS shoes that they provided to small communities in South Africa, where the majority of the population have the virus, Hanson explained.
"The shoes are now just one aspect of the tour," Hanson said. "We want people to know that just being a part of the walk and showing people taking action that they will make a difference."
Hanson is trying to send out the message of impact so people realize that the walks can grow to more than what they are doing in their shows.
Senedzuk explained that Hanson did not want any money and truly wanted to help a greater cause. The only thing that C1C was responsible to pay for was police.
C1C had less than five days to spread the word on campus that Hanson would be there for a charity event and to sing one song. "We didn't want to advertise until it was actually official," Senedzuk explained. "The amount of people who showed up on such a short amount of notice was incredible."
The group is also giving the opportunity for people to organize their own walk. Anyone interested can become an organizer at takethewalk.net where Hanson has set up the whole campaign.
Only several walks without the music group have actually taken place, Hanson explained, but there are about 20 walks scheduled to happen in the future. Those walks Hanson will not actually be present for.
"We want to set reasonable goals and achieve them to help people feel accomplished," Hanson said.