Posts Tagged ‘volunteer shoe drop’

Start Something That Matters—The Blog of Blake Mycoskie

Blake Rocks. He was a competitor on The Amazing Race, traveled the world before and since that high profile stint, and founded the paradigm-shifting TOMS Shoes. He has a rogue spirit and demeanor, audaciously taking on the world on his terms. He seems to do a lot of asking “Why Not?” and ultimately, nobody can come up with a satisfactory answer for why he can’t do something–so he does it. I long to absorb more of that spirit.

Blake, who holds the title of “Chief Shoe Giver,” came up with the grand plan for their über-successful shoe company: the One For One movement. When visiting Argentina a few years ago, Blake befriended local kids, learning that they had no shoes. It didn’t take a lot of deep digging to discover all sorts of pernicious diseases and conditions that befall populations that are forced to be barefoot, so his upstart shoe company donates a brand new pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. TOMS Shoes have achieved an almost cult cool status as your feet broadcast the fact that you care about the world and take responsibility for helping with conscientious buying. It is a brilliant business model–and even better life model. Volunteers can join the TOMS Shoes gang for international shoe drops, where you go along to deliver hundreds or thousands of pairs of shoes to a community, fitting kids with what can often be their first footwear…but the trips fill up with enthusiastic volunteers almost immediately, and demand for those volunteer slots is enormous–giving that volunteer gig some cult status as well.

Shoe drops have gone out to South Africa, Rwanda, Argentina, Ethiopia, and the United States, and more than a milion pairs of shoes have been donated.

Blake, a philanthropy rock star, has a great blog: Start Something That Matters, with lots of inspiration, a terrific title, and access to the mind behind the movement. I bookmark it and look forward to updates to get me fired up.