TOMS: One for One

Anna Simek, staff writer

In 2006, Blake Mycoskie, an American traveler, made a trip to Argentina. Upon meeting some of the local children, he discovered they didn’t have shoes to protect their feet. Since he wanted to help, he formulated TOMS Shoes, a company that gives children in need new shoes. Mycoskie later returned to Argentina with a 10,000 pairs of shoes accredited to TOMS customers.

Although some of us might not think shoes are such a big deal, they are for many children who grow up in developing countries. Even if they are only at home playing, they still run the risks of contracting diseases from the soil. These diseases often infiltrate the body through bare feet. Wearing shoes can aid in prevention of these diseases and the physical harm they cause. Many of these children are incapable of attending school since shoes are a mandatory part of their uniforms. Without shoes, these children are not acquiring an education and without proper schooling, they don’t have the chance to reach their full potential. Wearing shoes can also help protect against cuts and sores, which once infected are very dangerous, not to mention painful.

Each year, TOMS Shoes hosts an event called “One Day Without Shoes.” This event helps to raise awareness of the significance that a simple pair of shoes can have on a child’s life. Last year, over 250,000 people went shoeless and over 1,600 events came about around the globe. The next “One Day Without Shoes” is set to take place on April 5, 2011.