For many children in developing countries, universal education and the simple opportunities afforded to children in Western countries is a challenge. Many of these children find themselves without an education because they cannot afford to purchase school uniforms, shoes, books, pencils or even hygiene products. The economic disparity in most developing countries is so dire.
There are many foundations and organizations willing to provide basic and essential supplies to ensure that children in Africa, South America and Asia are able to get a primary education. One of the organizations making it possible for a child to put his or her best foot forward is TOMS, a shoe company founded by Blake Mycoskie with a simple concept: for every pair of shoes purchased, one pair is donated to a child in a developing country. Since it’s inception in May 2006 TOMS shoes has given over 10,000 pairs of shoes to children in Argentina and 100,000 shoes to children in South Africa, proving that changing a child’s life begins with a single step.
Blake Mycoskie was in town last week visiting with First Lady Laura Bush and took the time out of his schedule to premier his new documentary “For Tomorrow” at the City Tavern Club. The event, hosted by DC’s own Katherine Kennedy and friends, included a showing of Mycoskie’s documentary as well as a celebrity shoe auction. I was not able to attend the event but my good friend Sasha Horne-Skrine took the time to write me a note to tell me that the TOMS event was very moving and educational. Read her account of the night below.
“I attended a reception featuring Blake Mycoskie, Amazing Race star and founder of TOMS, last week in Georgetown. With TOMS, Blake took a concept that seems relatively simple – for every pair of shoes sold, a pair is donated to a child in a country such as Argentina, China, or Ethiopia that doesn’t have shoes. The event hosted by Kathrine Kennedy, Bisnow, Surreal Vodka, and Casa Noble Tequila hosting was held at the the City Tavern Club in Georgetown.
“For Tomorrow,” is a documentary that captures the process and sheer dedication of Blake and his colleagues as they visited multiple villages in Argentina delivering 10,000 pairs of shoes to children in need. Perhaps the most emotional part of the film (and there were many) was when Blake’s long time colleague, an Argentina native, broke into tears as a local villager described how providing the shoes to the children truly changed their lives. The villager also said that having shoes for children also provides them with many opportunities such as the ability to walk through the jungle to attend school.”
If you would like to take part in one of the trips to deliver shoes (they are called Shoe Drops) visit http://friendsoftoms.com/. You can also make a difference by purchasing a pair of TOMS to be donated. Help children in developing countries put their best foot forward to a brighter future.