Oh the power of technology. I was at lunch last week chatting on Blackberry Messenger with publicist and charity maven Katherine Kennedy to get some ideas for a charity event I am planning for Ready, Willing & Working. A couple of minutes into the convo, Katherine told me that she was in Argentina with Blake Mycosie delivering TOMS shoes to children. I immediately asked her if she had access to a camera, laptop or even a camera phone because I needed her to snap some pictures and send them to me asap. Katherine thought is was a fab idea and thus “Postcards from Katherine Kennedy” was born. She sent me a picture and a note sharing her experience working with TOMS shoes with me. I encourage you all to visit TOMS Shoes and donate to this wonderful cause.
In the photo: TOMS founder, Blake Mycoskie, Maggie Grace from LOST, Jimmy Leach of TOMS Shoes, and Katherine Kennedy along with two children who just received shoes in Missiones, Argentina.
Never had I imagined that I would have the blessing of starting off 2009 in Argentina with TOMS Shoes. The founder of the sustainable philanthropic organization, Blake Mycoskie, is hosting a friends and family shoe drop for 12 of us that has been one of the most eye-opening and humbling experiences of my lifetime. I am sure you all have dozens of pairs of shoes lost in your closet, shoes that you rarely wear. Imagine never having a pair of shoes to put on, and then having to walk miles to get fresh water for your village, to go to school, to work. My heart sunk as I witnessed what I thought was a depressing impoverished village dance with joy at the simple pleasure of receiving a new pair of shoes. Something we often take for granted. I was humbled as I attempted in my broken Spanglish to befriend a blind man and size his swollen, cut, dusty feet. Assuming I failed in all communication since he spoke Spanish, I spoke English, and the last resort of hand signals and visuals wouldn’t work, I was reminded of how small we are. But I knew the right message was communicated after he stood up in his new shoes, and gave me a huge hug and smiled with both innocence and joy. Playing tag and Red Rover with the kids, watching them out run each other in their new shoes. An incredible experience.
I hope you check out TOMS Shoes back in D.C.- they sell really adorable ones at the Rugby store in Georgetown (Yes, I have gone over a week without stilettos!) or online at www.TOMSSHOES.com. This drop, where we were on our knees giving thousands of shoes away to needy children would not have been made possible without the one-for-one message: For each pair of shoes purchased, a pair gets donated.
Cheers from Argentina and to starting 2009 with our best foot forward!