charitable business model {love!}

Giving is what fuels us.
Giving is our future.
It’s the core of our business…
and it’s time we celebrate it.
– Blake Mycoskie
Many of you know about Toms, so this is for those who don’t, but should!  For most of my life I’ve been involved in a variety of organizations because helping others was instilled in me from an early age.  I only wish I had come up with this business concept…I’ve been green with envy ever since I first learned about Toms because it marries two of my favorite things: charitable support and shoes.  
Since 2006, Toms has been manufacturing shoes based on the concept that for every pair sold, another would be donated to a child in another country – a new, not used pair.  The idea grew out of founder Blake Mycoskie’s travels to Argentina where he saw the unbelievable number of children without shoes.  Many of us know that not having footwear is unhealthy, many diseases can be spread through the feet and the risk of cuts and injuries is great, but did you know that the lack of shoes can equal the lack of an education? Many developing countries require uniforms in order to attend school…and shoes are part of that uniform.  How can something so simple, something we take for granted mean the difference between whether or not you have the opportunity to learn and grow?  Toms is filling this gap. And doing so with incredible results.
Together with their customers and Giving Partners they have given away more than 1 million pairs of shoes to children in 23 countries. What’s more amazing is that we aren’t talking about one pair per child..when the company goes into a community and gives an initial pair to the children in that area, they automatically set up a giving schedule so that those children get new shoes as they grow.  And the shoes are matched to the particular terrain and culture of the giving area. They are doing more than providing a necessity, Toms is building relationships in the communities in which they give and helping children prosper.  And now they are branching out.
This summer, Toms introduced fashion eyewear.  Three styles of sunglasses ranging from $135 – $145. {My favorites are the Classic 201s in tortoise and orange.}  As with their shoes, for every pair of sunglasses purchased Toms will make a donation to provide vision care {treatment or basic surgeries} or hardware {prescription glasses} to people in need, with an emphasis on women and girls, since in many countries families chose to provide these vital things for the boys in the family first. But Toms knows, like Nicholas Kristof has written extensively about, that when women prosper and flourish, so do their children, their families, their communities.
Back to their shoes for a moment.  Most have seen their basic flats for men and women which come in a variety of colors and range from $44 – $68.  But I love their summer wedges!  Cute, comfortable, $69, but time is running out to get them.  So run to Nordstrom or buy them online before you miss your chance to get a stylish pair of fun summer shoes and help a child.  Shoes and vision for a better tomorrow.  What can be better than that?
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One Response to charitable business model {love!}

  1. Amy Gavin says:

    I LOVE the wedges! I bought 2 pairs, but really… 4 pairs 😉

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