TOMS is a very special shoe company!
A typical line of clothing serves only to bring profit to its creators and sellers, but TOMS wants to change this. Its shoe donation campaign has saved thousands of children from the dangers of a barefooted life.
TOMS donates one pair of shoes to a child who can’t afford one for each pair of shoes bought by a customer. The movement is called TOMS One for One. Since these shoes happen to be very comfortable and fashionable, an immense number of shoes are donated each year. Over a million pairs of shoes have been given to children in need since the company got its start in 2006.
Sometimes people ask why TOMS donates shoes… Why couldn’t it donate something more necessary, like food, medicine, or clean water? Some even use this justification to accuse TOMS of using the charity as a way to attract customers without really caring about the children. This could not be less true.
Shoes are essential to a healthy life. Children without shoes are at risk for a plethora of medical problems both in their early and later years. TOMS shoes are given to kids in developing countries where disease often runs rampant. Keeping little feet in shoes and off the ground drastically reduces the number of soil-transmitted diseases these communities suffer every year.
Shoes also play a large role in injury prevention. It’s easy to forget for those with shoes to spare, but in many places walking barefoot could get you killed. Anything that pierces the skin can cause a deadly infection. This is amplified immensely when the bleeding body part is in constant contact with the dirty ground. Broken glass from bottles can tear up the foot and make it impossible to walk. Children with injured feet can’t work with their family or help with chores.
The primary source of hope for most developing countries is education. They believe that the children they teach today will someday have the skills to solve their many problems. Schools have certain requirements. These requirements almost always include a dress code. Most dress codes require shoes. A child without shoes loses not only the opportunity to learn and expand themselves, but the opportunity to increase the quality of life in their area.
It’s easy to see that TOMS is not just a shoe company. It works to give children in developing companies hope for the future.