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The word “charity” usually never comes to mind when buying a new pair of shoes, but TOMS Shoe Company is attempting to change the way consumers think when buying shoes.
Founder Blake Mycoskie was in Argentina in 2006 when an idea came to him. He befriended many children who lived every day without shoes to wear, causing disease, cuts and preventing them from going to school for lack of a full uniform.
Mycoskie came up with the idea of giving a new pair of shoes to a child in need, for every new pair of shoes that was sold through his company. He returned to Argentina later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes for the shoeless children.
TOMS Shoes partners with humanitarian and health organizations to help distribute the shoes. As of September 2010, TOMS has given over one million pairs of shoes to children in need through the many Giving Partners of the world.
The company has given shoes to children in different countries such as Haiti, Ethiopia, Mongolia and many more. TOMS has also partnered with many big name companies such as Ralph Lauren to sell co-branded Polo Rugby TOMS, also giving a matching pair for each pair sold. It has also partnered with Element skateboard brand, which gave a skateboard to children in the Indigo Skate Camp in Durban, South Africa for every skateboard sold.
Some may wonder why the name of the company is TOMS, when Mycoskie’s name is Blake. The name is TOMS for a reason, but there is no person named Tom there. TOMS is a derivative from the word “tomorrow,” meaning that there is always a better tomorrow.
TOMS is advertising a “One Day Without Shoes,” on April 5. They are encouraging people to go one day without wearing any shoes to experience what millions of children around the world face each day.
For more information about the event visit toms.com.