Several years ago, young entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie founded his own company called TOMS Shoes. While competing on the second season of the TV show “The Amazing Race” with his sister in Argentina, he noticed a style of shoe there called “alpargata.” He started wearing these shoes while there. At the same time, as he went through some of the area villages, he noticed how many children had no shoes.
In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” —Acts 20:35
When he began his for-profit shoe company, he also formed a non-profit called “Friends of TOMS.” He decided for every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, Friends of TOMS would give a pair away to a child with no shoes. To date, over one million pairs of shoes have been given away to children in over 20 countries worldwide, including to impoverished areas of the U.S.
Every April 5th, TOMS promotes “One Day Without Shoes,” encouraging people to go all day without shoes to raise awareness of this issue. Over 250,000 have committed to take part.
Particularly in metropolitan areas, TOMS shoes have become the shoes of choice for the hip and trendy, many customers not even knowing that somewhere on the other side of the world, a child will be receiving their first pair of shoes.
Businessmen like Blake Mycoskie, and companies like TOMS, prove that money can be made, but lives can also be changed for the better. Wouldn’t the world be a better place, if some profit from every company, were converted to a practical plan to help those who can’t help themselves? Be sure anything that you have a say in, or are a part of, gives back.
MERCIFUL GOD, it’s ironic that when we give, we feel like we have received—and, often, something far more valuable than a physical gift. Guide me to grow in giving.