I’m not sure if you are familiar with TOMS – you know, the shoe company? When I think of TOMS, I think of their iconic slip-canvas women’s shoe that is the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn. This is, of course, an oversimplification – TOMS is so much more than that. They sell a wide variety of shoes, handbags, eye wear, clothing and accessories for men, women and children. TOMS products are very stylish and well-made. My absolute favorite thing about TOMS, though, is their generosity. Their One For One program started with shoes, but has grown from there. Each pair of shoes, eye wear, bag or package coffee that you purchase from TOMS impacts someone else, often half-way around the world.
Shoes: For every pair of TOMS purchased, the company donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. Not only do they give the shoes, but they sometimes create jobs by producing the shoes in the countries where they give. Having shoes makes kids a lot more likely to be able to attend school. It can help keep them healthier and more active. They are helping kids in the US to become more active through education and by giving them shoes.
Eyewear: For every eye wear purchase that you make, they give eyewear to those in need, or provide medical care or eyesight saving surgery. They also create professional jobs for and teach eye care to local medical professionals.
Coffee: When you purchase a bag of TOMS Roasting Co. Coffee, you supply a person with a week’s supply (140 liters) of safe drinking water. The people who receive this water are in the countries where the coffee beans are sourced, and often have no other access to fresh water for eating and drinking.
Bags: When you purchase TOMS Bags, you are providing expectant mothers and their birth attendants with vital information and supplies that are necessary for a clean, healthy, safer birth.
As you can see, TOMS is extremely impressive with their commitment helping people who have gone without vital supplies and services for too long. While many companies give lip-service to social justice, TOMS commitment is a part of their mission and their corporate culture.
So why am I bringing this all up now? Well, I have an opportunity for you. TOMS is giving you the simplest, most fun way of giving that I have ever seen. All you need to do, between now and May 21st, is to Instagram a photo of your bare feet with the hashtag #WITHOUTSHOES and TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a needy child – one pair per hashtag. No purchase necessary! Show off your spring pedicure. Then on May 21st you can check back to see how many pairs (up to 1 million!) have been donated, and you can participate in One Day Without Shoes to show your support. TOMS gives you a fabulous and fun way to help children in need – go ahead and Instagram your bare feet, then tag your friends so they can join. #WITHOUTSHOES