TOMS Shoes: Giving Over 2 Million Shoes to Children in Need
Here we are in March 2013 and TOMS shoes is almost a house hold name. If you haven't heard of TOMS shoes, it's likely you have seen someone wearing them and just didn't know it.
TOMS was founded by Blake Mycoskie in 2006, after traveling to Argentina and seeing the extreme poverty and health conditions, as well as children walking without shoes. Mycoskie noticed the Argentine alpargata shoe that many people wore in that area. He started brainstorm this shoe as being a part of a simple, yet revolutionary solution.
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TOMS started with a simple goal: to show how together, we can create a better tomorrow by taking compassionate action today.
Blake started TOMS with "one for one" as the focus. This was a commitment to match every pair of TOMS purchased with a new pair given to a child in need.
In their first year in business, TOMS sold 10,000 pairs of shoes. Blake made a trip back to Argentina later that year with family and friends to give shoes to the children who had first inspired him.
TOMS as given away over 2 million pair of new shoes to a children in need and now gives shoes in over 50 countries and works with charitable partners in the field who incorporate shoes into their health, education, hygiene, and community development programs.
The TOMS movement was started by young people, and they continue to be a huge driving force with Campus Programs, internships and compassionate young people backing TOMS like with no other brand.
Over the course of its first five years, TOMS was successful enough in providing shoes for children in need. But Blake, having recognized other vital needs during his travels around the world, realized that One for One could be applied to more than shoes. He developed the idea for TOMS Eyewear in which for every pair of eyewear purchased, TOMS would help give sight to a person in need. One for One.
In 2009, Blake and TOMS received the Secretary of State's 2009 Award of Corporate Excellence (ACE). At the Clinton Global Initiative University plenary session, former President Clinton introduced Blake to the audience as "one of the most interesting entrepreneurs (I've) ever met." People Magazine featured Blake in its "Heroes Among Us" section, and TOMS Shoes was featured in the Bill Gates Time Magazine article "How to Fix Capitalism." In 2011, Blake was named on Fortune Magazine's "40 Under 40" list, recognizing him as one of the top young businessmen in the world.
In the fall of 2011, Blake released his first book, Start Something That Matters, offering his own amazing story of inspiration, and the power of incorporating giving in business to make your dreams and passions a reality. The book became a New York Times best-seller.
For more info go to www.toms.com and get involved, or just get a stylish pair of shoes.
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