Fashion • Life
An Eye for an Eye and a Shoe for a Shoe?
This past weekend I gave a child in need a new pair of shoes, a new pair of TOMS shoes. I’ve seen these shoes on hundreds of people, however I never owned a pair myself. I put it off for so long because they weren’t heels (if you look in my closet you’ll be lucky to find flat shoes), but as much as I love my sky-high pumps, stilettos, and wedges, none of those designers thought about the “One for One” concept. Actually if they did, I would have been supplying a small country with endless amounts of shoes by now (and feeling less guilty about my heel obsession).
If you aren’t familiar with the story here’s a brief run down…Blake Mycoskie’s vision of TOMS began after visiting Argentina in 2006, and discovering children’s dire need of shoes. Upon returning to the US, Mycoskie was convinced in starting a business in which for every shoe it sold, a shoe would be given free to a child in need in poverty stricken communities.
Now, this isn’t the only thing that I found amazing about his story, today TOMS is using that same concept with shoes and assisting the community in repairing people’s eyesight.
When I heard the 31-year-old, Los Angeles resident, on the Ellen Show, present his company’s new project I was completely touched. I knew then and there I had to be his customer.
At the young age of eight, one day after taking a math quiz, my third grade teacher pulled me aside and told me if I could read the numbers off of the green chalkboard. I looked and looked and concentrated carefully as I stood several feet away from the board. I needed to squint to get a clearer image and before I could respond, Ms. Summer had realized the reason why I had answered almost all of my math problems incorrectly—I needed glasses.
Now the thought of wearing glasses didn’t bother me, as a matter of fact my best friend at the time, Nancy, wore a pair that I from time to time would grab and put on for fun. Glasses were fun (for a time) but having horrible eye sight was not. Every year it’d get worse. By junior year of high school I decided I was ready for a new look and went with contacts and I’ve been wearing them ever since.
Luckily, at eight years old I was covered under my mom’s visual insurance and my sight was addressed immediately. However, children, adults and the elderly around the world are suffering from terrible eye conditions and have no means of having them corrected. So now the founder of TOMS, who has first-handedly seen the need, has released a line of sunglasses that will allow people like us to become part of this “One for One” movement once again.
So for all my fellow Californians, where the sun shines year-round, visit www.toms.com or your local Nordstrom, where you’ll find a selection of trendy shades. You don’t live in Cali you say? Buy them now and save them for next summer, a child is in need of prescription glasses today. World Sight Day is only two days away, October 13, so open your eyes and become a part of the movement and do something! I think you’ll look fabulous in some new TOMS glasses.
DID YOU KNOW?
-300 million people currently are living with blindness and vision impairments
-Nearly 2/3 of blind people worldwide are girls & women
-Of those visually impaired, 90% are from developing countries