Could you go even one day without shoes?

By: Jennifer Pretty May 03, 2011
  Editorial
TOMS shoes

In 2006, Blake Mycoskie (former Amazing Race contestant) took a vacation to Argentina. He was extremely disturbed by the fact that many of the children didn’t have any shoes to protect their feet. Not only did having no shoes allow the children to be susceptible to various health risks, but these children were not allowed to attend school as footwear is part of the uniform.

Blake’s trip inspired him to create TOMS shoes. For every pair of shoes sold, another new pair is given to a child in need. In the beginning, Blake only had help from his family and friends but has since grown exponentially into a fully staffed company. As of September, 2010 TOMS had given over one million pairs of shoes to needy children in over 20 countries around the world; including Haiti, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Argentina and the United States.

You may be wondering why give shoes? Why not water, or food? Children in developing countries that grow up without shoes are at risk:

  • Many serious diseases in developing countries are transmitted through soil, which can make its way through the skin if you are barefoot. Wearing shoes protects these children from getting these diseases and their devastating consequences.
  • In many situations, having footwear enables a child to attend school.

Thanks to the popularity of TOMS, their merchandise has expanded to include clothing, and multiple footwear styles including Wrap Boots, Botas, Cordones, Wedges and even Wedding styles.

It’s amazing what a giving spirit and a drive to succeed can accomplish. Although we may not be able to accomplish as much as Blake, there are many ways to get involved with this cause:

  1. Buy a pair of TOMS shoes. You get to change a child’s life, and get a fabulous new pair of shoes for yourself!
  2. Take part in “One Day without Shoes”. An annual worldwide fundraiser which challenges you to go barefoot for a day to raise awareness for the millions of children who go without shoes every day.
  3. Host a “Style Your Sole Party”. A great idea for a baby shower, girl’s night or family reunion. Bring your friends and family together to customize their own blank canvas TOMS.
  4. Share the story. Pass along the amazing story of TOMS so that more people can become aware, and get involved with such a great cause and inspiring story.

To get more information on TOMS, please visit: http://www.tomsshoes.ca/ or www.facebook.com/toms

(Health-local.com is not affiliated with TOMS shoes)

Until next time,

Peace, love and vitamin C!

Jennifer Pretty began her career as the director of artist development for a well-known Canadian music label. Branching out on her own, she then started her own PR business “Pretty Media Management” planning and hosting various charity, entertainment and fashion events. As a dance and fitness class enthusiast Jennifer is a firm believer in the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. She also loves to cook, travel, spend time with family and friends and most importantly living life to the fullest!