Posts Tagged ‘TOMS’

Barefoot Giving — It Takes Almost Nothing to Make a Difference

adult and child bare feet on wet rockThere’s a particular type of giving and service I like to point out whenever I find it—I refer to it as “NO skin off my ass” giving or NO SOMA impact. These are the actions that don’t interfere with your everyday routines, yet can, with minimal effort, make a difference in the lives of others.

There are, of course, outstanding opportunities around the world to really dedicate your all—energy, time, sweat, and tears—and I hope you’ll find plenty of those options here and elsewhere. But how about something you can do on any old Tuesday afternoon…or Thursday morning…or any time at all. Actions so simple yet still impactful…the only question that remains, is “Why not…?

Here’s one: Why not take a picture to give a pair of shoes to a child in need?

From May 5 – May 21, if you simply Instagram a photo of your bare feet with the hashtag #WITHOUTSHOES, TOMS Shoes will give a new pair of new shoes to up to one million kids who need them. The company always has a one for one practice, where with every purchase you make a new pair is also given to a child somewhere in the world (TOMS does amazing “Shoe Drop” trips to communities across the globe, having donated over ten million pairs of shoes and they have also given one million pairs of shoes to children in need in the United States).

There are some cool things about shoes that make tangible differences in life—differences we don’t often consider since most of us don’t lack for some sort of footwear.

  • Shoes can increase access to education—attendance goes up by 62%.
  • Shoes can help treat disease—podoconiosis, a debilitating disease of the feet and legs, is transmitted through bare feet and affects more than four million people.
  • Shoes can protect feet from illness—other water and soil-borne illnesses are transmitted though uncovered feet.
  • Shoes can improve learning ability—TOMS has created an incentive and recognition program for kids who are screened and treted for amblyopia (“lazy eye”)
  • Shoes can provide comfort—nearly 47 million of us around the world are refugees, half of those are children without access to home and basic amenities. Warm shoes change that experience.
  • Shoes can encourage healthy lifestyles—with a doubling of childhood obesity in the past few decades, sports shoes increase activity and exercise.


SO kick off those kicks, point your camera down, snap, post, tag, and you’ve just given a child something that truly matters. Why not…?

TOMS Animal Initiative – Shoe Company Focuses on Wildlife

455040_33055654You probably already know about TOMS, the shoe company that was one of the early standouts in the each-one-reach-one movement, donating a pair of shoes to a person in need for every pair purchased by consumers. Perhaps you even own a pair or three of the casual shoes. Now, TOMS is partnering with animal conservation organizations around the world to donate a portion of proceeds to protection of endangered species.

The philanthropically-focused company hopes to drive attention and fundraising energy toward several non-profit agencies, the first being The Virunga National Park to help support Silverback mountain gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo that are targeted by poachers and are victims of habitat destruction.  There are only about 900 of these majestic creatures left in the wild. A new limited edition shoe has been launched for the program, vegan Earthwise classics with the park’s logo embroidered on the side.

Other Virunga National Park projects include an elephant program, a bloodhound initiative training highly skilled dogs to help discover poachers in the wild, a fallen ranger program to help the families of the surprisingly high number of park rangers killed, and region-specific conservation efforts. Find out more, and consider making a donation via your hip footwear or directly.