If you haven’t heard about TOMS shoes I’m helping to spread the word. Suzicate first enlightened me with her post about her first pair of TOMS. She loves them! Her enthusiasm was catchy. I went to check them out myself. Yes. The shoes are cute. They look comfortable and I’m all about comfort. But then I clicked on the “Our Movement” tab and I was mesmerized.
One man. Blake Mycoskie. On vacation in Argentina. To play polo. He saw women and men wearing a style of shoe he thought interesting. It was the fashionable new thing. But then, literally right next door, he saw villagers without shoes on their feet. He spent the rest of his vacation volunteering at a local village. Fresh water was 2 miles away and walking with the children they had to stop every 5 minutes or so because their feet hurt. He took a closer look. Thick callouses. Cuts. Scrapes. Painful sores. He met grown children who had never worn a shoe a day in their life. Adults who had only owned a few pairs in a lifetime. Amputations because of deadly infections. He wanted to do something.
On the plane ride home he got an idea.
Blake Mycoskie was not a modern-day cobbler. He knew nothing about the shoe business. What he did know is that children around the world, in impoverished countries, were suffering because they lacked something most of us take for granted. What if he duplicated the “fashionable” shoe he saw on the polo field spectators? What if for every pair of shoes he sold he provided a pair for children in need? One for One.
So that’s exactly what he did. TOMS, Shoes for Tomorrow, was born in 2006. I love that this is a company that was started with the sole purpose of helping others. It wasn’t a shoe company that decided to do something good. It was one man, who wanted to help children around the world and he came up with a way to do it.
For some of us, the shoes are a little pricey. On the website they start around $40. Of course, they go up from there. If you’re the type that needs to see them live I googled it and Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom carry them, too.
I know many of us are focused on Haiti right now. And some of you may be saying, “Why can’t I just donate to some organization directly instead of having to buy something?” But if you like the shoes, if you’re going to buy shoes anyway – why not purchase them from a company with a primary mission to help others?