Not just any kind of shoes (and NOT Jimmy Choos, Carrie), but a pair of shoes that has the potential to change a life. A pair of new, styling shoes for me and some life-changing shoes for a kid I don’t even know.
I am buying my first pair of TOMS shoes.
Now if you haven’t already heard the story behind TOMS, it’s an amazing one. In 2006 Blake Myoskie founded a for-profit shoe company called TOMS with an inspiring mission: to put shoes on the feet of kids who simply couldn’t afford them.
For every pair of TOMS shoes purchased by you and me Blake gives away another pair of shoes to a child in need – one for one.
But here’s the kicker. What TOMS is giving these kids is so much more than ‘just’ a pair of shoes. These shoes represent a reduced risk of disease and injury, an increased chance of getting to school, increased self worth, and a sign that someone cares.
In 2010 – just four years after he started – Blake and the rest of the team at TOMS gave away their one-millionth pair of shoes. Amazing!
But wait, the tale doesn’t stop there. In 2011, TOMS started one-for-one eyewear. It’s the same concept: you buy a pair of glasses, in turn providing eye treatment, prescription glasses or eye surgery for someone in need. One for one.
I recently read Blake’s book ‘Start Something That Matters’ that encourages the every day person to, um, start something that matters. (I bought my copy old-school-style, at a bookshop but here is a link to buy on amazon).
I couldn’t put it down. With its appeal to both entrepreneurs and philanthropists it inspires the every day person to start something, even if that something helps just ONE person.
So next time you’re in the market for shoes, glasses (sunnies or prescription) or even a good book – have a think about the TOMS story and see how YOU can make a difference. Check out the very cool TOMS range. It makes do-gooding so cool I’m sure even Carrie would be a fan.