I received my spring catalog from TOMS the other day, and after flipping through it, I realized I wanted everything in it. I was first turned onto TOMS while my fiancÚ' lived in New York City. Everywhere I went, I saw people wearing these adorable, stylish, yet completely comfortable shoes. When I Googled them to order a pair, I found that they were much more than just a pair of shoes.
TOMS is a business that not only sells shoes and other accessories to make money, they are out to help change lives. With every pair of shoes you buy from TOMS, you're also helping improve a child's health, education and overall well-being. When you buy a pair of TOMD, they donate a pair to a child in need. So why shoes? Shoes alone have the ability to change a life. Imagine not having a single pair of shoes and walking around barefoot every day. Shoes protect children's feet from cuts that can cause infections and deadly diseases.
It's easy to take things for granted, especially when you have a closet full of shoes, a pair for every occasion. Without shoes, children are not able to attend school; most schools make it a requirement that shoes be worn for them to attend. According to toms.com, providing uniforms, including shoes, increases school attendance as much as 62 percent.
TOMS has paired up with a group of Giving Partners; when combined, they become a powerful tool in helping create opportunities for those less fortunate. TOMS' Giving Partners have stated that a pair of new shoes will immediately instill confidence in a child. Confident children are more likely to stay in school and provide valuable contributions to their communities.
In their latest catalog, TOMS visits Cambodia. While the catalog has a variety of shoes for sale, it also tells a story about a community in need. In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Toms and an organization called the Cambodian Children's Fund (CCF) work together to better children's lives. The Cambodian Children's Fund distributes TOMS shoes along with education, medical treatment, food, nursery care, and vocational training to over 700 children. The children CCF helps come from some of the worst social and financial backgrounds in Cambodia. CCF's Patrick McKinlay wants to help these children and help their communities thrive.
“Without education, these kids have no chance,” McKinlay told TOMS. “CCF's real mission is to give kids a real chance to be themselves, develop their talents and abilities. We provide safety, good food, and healthcare.”
Gemma Harris from CCF says that each child that goes to public school and attends a CCF class gets a pair of TOMS shoes. “They give protection from any environment outside of our control, truly every kind of toxic thing,” Harris told TOMS.
Halfway through the spring catalog, another story stood out, along with a pair of classic TOMS that really caught my eye. Charlize Theron's Africa Outreach Project created a pair of vibrant orange classic TOMS with a unique sun design embroidered on them. CTAOP's efforts help keep African youth safe from HIV and AIDS. TOMS often partners with like-minded organizations in order to bring awareness to important issues.
Another big campaign TOMS does every year was held yesterday. One Day Without Shoes was created to raise awareness for children's health and education. While I can't say I walked around barefoot at work yesterday, I will say that I sported my favorite pair of red Toms; once I got home, I went barefoot (that was pretty easy to do). So if you're looking for cute and extremely comfortable shoes that make a difference, then you should really invest in a pair of TOMS. I'm even considering wearing a pair of their classic white, crochet TOMS to my wedding!
Visit toms.com for your own pair of TOMS!