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I love shoes. So, naturally, if there’s a way for me to indulge my passion for footwear while also changing the world for the better, sign me up! And that’s exactly what TOMS is all about.

With every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. It’s called One for One. And they’re not stopping with shoes anymore. One for One has been expanded to include sunglasses, too. With every pair of shades purchased, TOMS gives the gift of sight to a person in need through medical treatment, prescription eyeglasses, and/or sight-saving surgery.

What’s so amazing – and unusual – about the TOMS’ movement is that it’s more than lip-service. It’s way more than just a clever marketing ploy. It’s the very foundation of the company, whose unwavering mission is, “…Work[ing] to establish shoe-giving partnerships with humanitarian organizations worldwide that have…a long-term presence in the countries and communities they serve.” In fact, TOMS gave its one-millionth pair of new shoes to a child in need in September 2010. So much for a PR stunt!

TOMS sees itself not as a shoe or a sunglass company but rather as a One for One company. TOMS’ founder believes it’s the company’s obligation to try to improve as many lives around the world as possible by addressing as many different needs as possible. TOMS’ website tells the full story of the One for One movement and where it’s heading in the future.

The more I read, the more I’m convinced that TOMS is changing the world. Sounds like one more reason to go shoe shopping, if you ask me!

Talk about life changing.

by Leah Knepper Brand Futurist Rubberneck Propaganda Specialist

Photo Credit: © TOMS