By Kristin Finney
Greene Publishing, Inc.
The idea of dressing glamorously or wearing the nicest clothes has always been part of the American dream; however, in the past five years, TOMS Shoes has begun a revolution across the country. They have prompted other companies to begin similar campaigns across the United States. However, few charities have reached to the expanses that TOMS Shoes have.
For those who have never heard of it, TOMS Shoes is a company that specializes in lightweight cloth shoes. But these shoes are more than just comfortable every day shoes, they are for a good cause. For every pair of TOMS Shoes that is purchased, TOMS will donate a pair to children in other countries, as well as the United States, who need them.
For children in poverty-stricken countries, shoes can be the biggest need of all. Most children in other countries cannot go to school without shoes. They can also contract the diseases podoconiosis, which is a form of elephantiasis caused by walking on volcanic soil. This disease is easily prevented, by simply wearing shoes from the time they are children until they become adults.
The shoes are alpargata style and come in a variety of colors. They even offer wedges and boots along with the classics. While the style of the shoes might not be the glamorous look that many people would normally go for, they definitely make a statement. They have become insanely popular for tweens, teens and young adults, especially those who are interested in helping others.
TOMS Shoes has sold more than 600,000 pairs of shoes in the last five years. This means they have also donated more than 600,000 pairs of new shoes to children who need them. While the shoes are not cheap, they average about $55 a pair, the meaning behind each pair is phenomenal and when you purchase one pair, you are actually purchasing two: one for you and one for a child in need.
There are many charities that claim to be like TOMS, saying that they will donate their products or profits, but in reality they donate very little, if any. TOMS Shoes is a different story. If you visit their website, www.toms.com, you will see photos of their CEO, Blake Mycoskie, sunburned and putting shoes on children in the middle of the desert. The group from TOMS Shoes makes several trips every year to different countries, as well as areas across the United States, to distribute their shoes in person.
These shoe drops are organized by a TOMS’ partner organization called Friends of TOMS. Friends of TOMS help TOMS to distribute shoes all over the world. Anyone can become a shoe drop volunteer and a Friend of TOMS. Simply visit www.friendsoftoms.org to receive more information on how to get involved. There are numerous drops each year, and they need all of the support they can get. Every person can make a difference.
In the modern era, perhaps the mindset will change; maybe it isn’t the style of clothes you wear, but the meaning behind them. Maybe it will become easier to help others, while still helping yourself. Donating and making a difference in another persons life is a great way to improve your quality of life as well as the quality of life for others.
TOMS Shoes: A Charity Worth Supporting
By Kristin Finney