Saturday, February 07, 2009

Changing the World One Shoe at a Time

Many aspire to do something worthwhile. Others pray for some sort of mission or purpose to make a mark on the world. And, many have simply given up on attempting to make a difference at all.

Sometimes all it takes for hope to emerge for one to think that they can actually make a difference is personal contact with the one's in need. Such contact often leads way to compassion. Compassion when cultivated with vision creates a momentum of change.

This is exactly what happened to Blake Mycoskie, a former contestant of "The Amazing Race." While competing in Argentina two things transpired. While walking through the local shops he was inspired by the simplicity of the low-cost shoe known as alpargatas (espadrille-type shoes). At the same time, he was struck by the overwhelming number of children who were running the streets shoeless.

Once compassion converged with inspiration a vision emerged to put shoes on these marginalized children. The idea of TOMS Shoes was born. The concept was simple, for every shoe TOMS sold to a customer, they would donate another pair to a child in need.

How cool is that? I buy a pair of shoes and I know I've also bought a pair for a child who doesn't have a pair of their own. In three short years, TOMS has put shoes on more than 200,000 children.

Talking about taking a step to make a difference... I think I found my next pair of new shoes...

No comments: