TOMS has partnered with FEED Projects to help children stay focused in school by providing meals. Every purchase of a pair of limited edition FEED 12 Classics gives one pair of new shoes and 12 school meals to children in need.
Founded in 2007 by model Lauren Bush Lauren, the presidential niece and granddaughter, FEED Projects sells FEED bags, sometimes in collaboration. (Remember the co-branded Gap faux pas?) A portion of each sale is donated to the United Nations World Food Program for children.
Bringing charity back home, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie has partnered with Helen Keller International's ChildSight program to help provide prescription glasses to children living in impoverished U.S. communities.
Two million children in the U.S. have undiagnosed or uncorrected vision problems that interfere with their school performance. "Eighty percent of what a child learns in the first 12 years of life is through vision,” comments Corey Hodes, Childsight Optometrist in the above video:
A lot of kids come in and can’t even see the big E on the eye chart. When I put the glasses on them and refine their vision, we are getting them down to the bottom line! Seeing their eyes open up and realize that there are actually letters before them on the chart, I can’t really describe it in words.
TOMS has also partnered with National Relief Charities (NRC) to distribute shoes to children in regions of the US where have never owned a new pair, including Native American reservations throughout the Southwest and Plains.
One recent update from an NRC volunteer:
“At a school in Montana, one of the young students came up to me and was embarrassed to take his shoes off. [So his feet would not be in plain view, and so that he would feel less embarassed], we found a more secluded spot. I helped him remove his shoes, and once we did so, I realized why he might feel embarrassed. The entire sole [of the shoes he was wearing] came off...and his socks were in very rough condition. I got him fitted with a new pair of TOMS Shoes. He asked me, ‘Are these for me?’ I told him, ‘Yes, they sure are!’…And he started crying.
“Later that same day, when we [the team of volunteers] were organizing the truck with the TOMS Shoes that remained to be distributed, I saw this boy again. He was excited and eager to help us organize the shoes that were to be given to other children. He seemed so happy to be a helper in our distribution.”
TOMS One for One movement uses a model that combines good business sense and the common good. The brand (which kicked off the "Shoes" in its name last year as it expanded into eyewear and other products) is bringing back its annual "One Day Without Shoes" corporate challenge on April 10th, encouraging other brands and companies to "kick off their shoes" for a good cause.
Get more details here and in the video below: