Guest Blogger: Erin McDonough

This post features a blog by my fellow classmate, Erin McDonough. It is a very moving and insightful blog regarding the Tom’s Shoes Organzation. I enjoyed reading this post so much and want to share it with others to pass along the work this amazing organziation is doing to provide children in need with shoes.

Taking a Step Into a Better Tomorrow , written by Erin McDonough

In today’s society, shoes have become more of a fashion statement than a necessary article of clothing. Shoe fetishes are costing girls across the country hundreds to even thousands of dollars a year. However, what many people don’t know is that there are millions of children in Africa and underdeveloped countries that have never owned a pair of shoes their entire life.  Blake Mycoskie, the founder and chief shoe giver of TOMS Shoes, decided that it was time for something to be done about this. Blake is a true inspiration of selflessness, compassion, and success.

Blake became an entrepreneur right out of college and states that he “lost himself in his pursuit of entrepreneurship.” In 2006, he realized that he was in desperate need of a vacation, leading him to his first trip to Argentina. While there, Blake was introduced to a group of children and learned that they did not own, and had never owned a pair of shoes to protect their feet. He then discovered that there were hundreds more in that country alone who were also without shoes.

Shoes are often times taken for granted. What people don’t realize is that there are multiple dangers and set backs that come with constantly being barefoot. One of the major dangers to being barefoot is podoconiosis– a disease contracted through exposed cuts and scratches that can lead to amputations and even death. Another issue is that most school do not allow children to attend if they are barefoot meaning that the inability to afford shoes is not only physically dangerous, but ruins almost any chance for a better future. This new knowledge gave Blake the idea for a project; he would design a simple pair of shoes and for every pair that was sold, he would give another pair to a child in need. This led to the his slogan: One for One.

The idea of this project soon spread across the country and orders began to pour in. People everywhere became intrigued with this “Shoes for tomorrow project.”  The company has distributed over 400,000 pairs of shoes in the past 4 years to children in need. Not only has Blake changed the lives of children world wide, he has become an icon of goodness, selflessness, and compassion in the business world as well. Well-known companies like Ralph Lauren, and Element Skateboards have now joined the One for One movement.

Blake has set the stage for a better tomorrow world wide, in the business world, and for people’s personal lives as well. Blake saw a problem and decided to step up and move towards change. He left his comfortable life in order to chase an idea. He has attracted people worldwide to the idea of giving while receiving.

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