is supporting the fourth annual global campaign to give visibility to the
millions of children who grow up without shoes and are at risk of infection and
Day Without Shoes is a global event designed to encourage people to go barefoot
for a day to draw attention to the plight of children in developing nations who
face injury, illness and missed opportunity because they don't have adequate
This is the second year Microsoft has been involved in the One Day Without
Shoes Campaign. Microsoft is encouraging employees to take part, and MSN will
purchase 1000 pairs of shoes to help TOMS provide shoes to children in need. To
see pictures of people participating, or to post your own picture of yourself in
bare feet to support the effort, visit MSN's special site here: http://on-msn.com/eXHngq.
Hundreds of thousands of people plan to take off their shoes on April 5, and
will show up at work, school and elsewhere. Organizers hope the bare feet will
spark conversations about the risks these needy kids face.
TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie says that not having shoes puts kids at a
heightened risk of injury, disease and infection. Among the soil-transmitted
risks that most can't afford to prevent and treat are:
- Hookworm: Causes anemia, stunted physical and mental development and, on
occasion, congestive heart failure. Affects up to one-fifth of the world's
- Podoconiosis or "mossy foot disease": Causes swelling of the feet and legs
due to prolonged exposure to certain types of irritant soil.
- Chiggers: Bites on the feet and ankles from these mites can cause severe
itching and hives.
- Tetanus: Potentially fatal infectious disease caused by bacteria entering
the body through cuts or other open wounds. Causes painful muscle spasms and
In addition, many schools in rural developing nations require students to
have shoes to attend schools, so not having shoes is a roadblock to opportunity.
TOMS Shoes is the sponsor of One Day Without Shoes, which started as a U.S.
college campus movement in 2008 and has grown into an event that attracted more
than 250,000 participants last year.
Mycoskie founded TOMS Shoes in 2006. The company was named TOMS because of
its goal to "create a better tomorrow by taking compassionate action today."
Mycoskie decided to start a business rather than a charity, believing its
prospects for long-term success were greater. "With our One for One Mission,"
the TOMS website says, "TOMS Shoes transforms our customers into benefactors,
which allows us to grow a truly sustainable business rather than depending on
fundraising for support." TOMS says the strategy has allowed the company to give
more shoes more rapidly and to involve more consumers in the process.
With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child
in need. One for One. Since its beginning in 2006, TOMS has given over one
million pairs of new shoes to children through giving partners around the world.
The company currently gives in 23 countries like Argentina, Cambodia, South
Africa, and Ethiopia. TOMS works with giving partners (nongovernmental
organizations) to coordinate distribution and repeat giving to accommodate
children who outgrow their shoes. According to its website, TOMS is "a
for-profit company with giving at its core."
Mycoskie has been part of the Clinton Global Initiative, a presenter at the
TED (Technology, Education and Design) conference and a frequent speaker at
corporations and universities. In 2009, TOMS received the Secretary of State's
Award for Corporate Excellence, which recognizes companies' commitment to
corporate responsibility, innovation, exemplary practices and democratic values
Sources: http://onedaywithoutshoes.com, http://toms.com/faq