Thursday, November 10, 2011

"I like your shoes, miss..."

Right now, these are on my feet.

Yes, TOMS red, rope-sole slip-ons.

You know a shoe is popular when there's a backlash that says they're ugly (Crocs, I'm sorry, but you actually are ugly.)

My mom once mentioned a cool company where the founder was inspired by the children of the developing world, many of whom don't have shoes (wearing shoes is actually an important way to protect against disease), to start a company that would sell shoes and give shoes to children who need them.

I forgot about it until a friend of mine rhapsodized about her incredibly comfortable shoes - they were TOMS. So the next time I saw some TOMS, I tried them on.

I was hooked.

TOMS has a 1-to-1 giving policy. Every time someone buys shoes, they give a pair to a child. That seems so much more open-hearted than giving pennies or having a yearly charity drive. This quote about the importance of shoes really touched my heart, because the child I sponsor*, Barley, lives in Zambia:

“Shoes simply mean everything to a Zambian child. I am called a doctor today because of the shoes my father bought, which motivated me to keep going to school and to work hard. Shoes were and are still a luxury in this country…” Dr. Fwasa Singogo, Zambia

Plus, OMFG (to quote the CW advertising department) they are seriously the most comfortable shoes on earth. I wish I could wear them all the time.

And they are NOT ugly. At least, seven-year-olds don't think so. Whenever I walk into a classroom - part of my job - and I'm wearing my TOMS, the kids say, "I like your shoes, miss!"

I can't even imagine the excitement that would ensue if I came in wearing these:

If you're stumped on Christmas ideas for someone, I highly recommend a pair of TOMS. One gift, happy feet around the world. What could be better?

*Another great gift: Sponsor a child through World Vision. They rate 4 stars on Charity Navigator, and are currently working intensely to relieve suffering in the Horn of Africa.

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