22 Aug Toms shoes announces U.S. giving program
It’s an initiative you might call “red, white and shoe.”
After seven years of giving globally, L.A.-based Toms shoes has announced it will begin giving at home, in the U.S.
The company, whose One for One business model donates a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair it sells, aims to give 1 million pairs of shoes to children in the U.S. by the end of 2014.
New pairs of Toms shoes will be given to children in 35 states and access to eye care will be provided to children in three states, through sales of Toms eyewear.
Some of the company’s U.S.-based giving partners are Save the Children, Feed the Children [http://www.feedthechildren.org/] and Helen Keller International [http://www.hki.org/].
Toms was founded by Blake Mycoskie in 2006, when he was traveling in Argentina and took a liking to the region’s alpargatas canvas worker shoes. Looking for volunteer work near Buenos Aires, he came across a woman who had recently organized a shoe drive, which got him thinking about shoes being at the top of the list when relief organizations ask for donations.
Mycoskie decided to adapt the alpargatas for the U.S. market, while providing shoes for people in need. As of late June, Toms announced that it had donated 10 million pairs of shoes worldwide. In the two years since launching eyewear, Toms and its partners have helped provide sight-saving eye care to more than 150,000 people.