LOS ANGELES, Aug. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Just in time for the back-to-school season, today the founder of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie, announced that the company has made a major commitment to children in the United States and through its Giving Partners will give at least one million pairs of new shoes by the end of 2014.
The announcement significantly expands the company's shoe and sight-giving program right here at home, which over the past seven years has worked with Giving Partners in over 60 countries around the world to provide new shoes and help restore sight. Moving forward, new pairs of TOMS shoes will be given to children in 35 states in America, and the gift of sight will be provided to children in need in three states.
"Since I founded TOMS in 2006, it has been my goal to give sustainably in the U.S.," admitted Mycoskie. "Helping kids here in America is also something that the TOMS community has long wanted us to do, and we're thrilled that we're now able to respond. I'm really proud of the TOMS Giving Team and its hard work over the years to improve the effectiveness and impact of our global giving. We're now at a point where we have the learning, resources and Giving Partners in place to responsibly give in the U.S."
TOMS recognizes the opportunity for the company's support in the U.S. – many children in the U.S. do not have access to the resources they need to stay healthy and in school. This has a tremendous effect on their education and growth. Now, with the help of TOMS' U.S. Giving Partners (non-governmental organizations), the gift of new shoes will help better equip children for school and physical activities and help increase their self-esteem.
Giving is at the core of TOMS' business, and the company recently announced that it has given its 10 millionth pair of shoes to a child as of late June, and in the next 18 – 24 months expects to give 10 million more pairs of shoes to children in need. Just two years since launching TOMS Eyewear, TOMS and its Sight-Giving Partners have helped restore vision to more than 150,000 people.
"We hold our giving to the highest standard," added Sebastian Fries, chief giving officer of TOMS. "Over the years we have learned from our Giving Partners about how to give shoes in the most impactful way. And though it took time to ensure that we could give to the same standard here at home, over the last year, we've established strong U.S. giving partnerships with organizations serving vulnerable populations in the U.S. We are honored to partner with organizations like Save the Children and Helen Keller International to help meet the challenges that children and communities face here in the U.S."
Globally, TOMS partners with more than 100 Giving Partners working locally with communities in need. The company's Shoe Giving Partners integrate new TOMS Shoes into their pre-existing health and education programs. Shoes are given to children along with other support like hygiene, education, health care or basic necessities (such as medicines, school uniforms, school supplies, clothing or vitamins). TOMS Sight Giving Partners are working to build access to sustainable-eye care. Each TOMS Eyewear purchase helps give sight in one of three ways: by providing sight-saving surgeries like cataract, prescription glasses or medical treatment.
In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in a village in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One.®
Five years later, TOMS realized this movement could serve other basic needs and launched TOMS Eyewear. With every pair purchased, TOMS will help give sight to a person in need. One for One.® As more everyday choices have the power to impact the lives of those around the world, the TOMS movement will continue to grow and evolve.