I love stories about entrepreneurs who create a product that is not only fashionable, comfortable and fun, but also manages to serve the needs of those who suffer, in this case kids!
TOMS are canvas espedrille-style slip-on shoes that came on the fashion scene in 2006, the brain child of Blake Mycoskie who formulated a way to give away a pair of shoes with every pair purchased by those of us who can afford to pay for them.
And why shoes?
Mycoskie, while competing in The Amazing Race in Argentina and seeing first hand the poverty and debilitating illnesses born of soil pathogens, realized if kids just wore shoes, they could be spared a lifetime of health related illnesses. On top of that, they could attend school...yes, shoes are a requirement! But in many countries, shoes are a luxury.
In the 6 years TOMS has been selling/donating shoes, over 600,000 pair have found grateful feet!
Those are pretty amazing numbers in the business world, and pretty amazing in the world of the Bodhisattva as well.
If I could say I had made over 600,000 people grateful, I would hang up my Rakusu! (Well, maybe not....)
Here on the Dickinson Campus, the Office of Religious Life is hosting a "Style Your Sole" party on Thursday, December 3, 3-6 p.m. in the Landis House (101 South College st.). All are invited, but make sure you get your TOMS today, 1-3 p.m. or November 11, 11-1 p.m. in the HUB Underground. $45.00 covers the cost of the shoes, shipping and decorating materials....yes they're not cheap, but remember, you are essentially buying 2 pairs of shoes, one for yourself and one for your buddy somewhere else in the world.
And I know, most of you can't make it to campus today to do this, but check out TOMS website none the less and see what it's all about. One small idea can ignite the heart of compassion in a million places! Don't ever underestimate that.