Saturday, October 22, 2011

One for One

Yesterday when I was shopping with a friend (it was a study break...I swear!), she asked me what I thought of my TOMS shoes. I was wearing them at the time and she commented that they seem to be the "in" thing. I jokingly said I bought my pair before the trend caught on...which has partial truth to it because there was only one store in Halifax that carried them when I began my search for TOMS (and they had a very limited selection of styles & sizes).

My TOMS, worn with love.
I heard about the company at the end of last summer when I attended the Leadership Summit at my church. One of the speakers was Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS shared his story of making a difference in the world. Their website says it best:
In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that would match everr pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of choes made possible by TOMS customers.
I quickly learned that in certain developing countries children are at risk of contracting soil-transmitted diseases which penetrate through the soles of the feet. Not only that, but in some schools shoes are required for the if they don't have shoes, they can't receive an education. He shared a story of a family where 3 children would rotate the pair of shoes in the family so that each of them would have a chance to attend school at least one day of the week.

Thus began my quest for a pair of TOMS. I probably searched for a good 2 months before I finally found a pair in my size. I honestly wasn't attracted to the style but was rather buying them for the One for One concept. But when I put on my first pair I was in love. Probably the most comfortable pair of shoes I have owned in my life.

There never goes a day where I regret my purchase. I love the idea that with the pair of shoes I bought for myself, a child in need also received a pair. The phenomenon is catching on. In September 2010 TOMS gave away their 1,000,000th pair of shoes. And this year they launched TOMS Eyewear (for every pair of glasses sold, a child in need receives medical care, prescription glasses or sight-saving surgery).

TOMS flag, proudly hung in my room.

If you don't own a pair of TOMS I encourage you to buy one (if it's within your means). Or next time your shopping for friends/family, consider a pair as a reality you'll be buying for two!

Have a lovely weekend :)

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