Special-edition, Congolese-inspired TOMS Shoes
We're teaming up with Giving Partner Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), an advocacy and grant-making organization founded by Ben Affleck, on two Congolese-inspired designs with an additional give. Read More >>
TOMS x charity: water - An Eyewer collaboration
TOMS and charity: water, an organization founded in 2006 (like TOMS!) that’s dedicated to to helping bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations, join forces for the first-ever TOMS Eyewear collab! Read More >>
Giving TOMS Shoes in the DRC
Founded by Ben Affleck in 2010, ECI is an advocacy and grant-making organization that works with and for the people of DRC, the third most populous country in Africa, and one that struggled under a cycle of violence for nearly 20 years – particularly in the east. Read More >>
Though not the primary way we give TOMS Shoes, giving trips are one of the TOMS family’s favorite perks of our work here. After certain checkpoints of working for the company and to extend the movement, we get a pretty amazing experiential gift: that of joining a TOMS Giving Partner to distribute shoes to children on the Giving side of One for One.
This Fall, Christian, on the Online team at HQ, celebrated his one year with TOMS and traveled with Buckner International, a TOMS Giving Partner, to villages in Peru, where he and the group on his giving trip assisted in delivering the One for One promise of TOMS Shoes.
Upon his return, he took some time to share one of the highlights of his giving trip: watching Giuli, a key player in the field with Buckner, perform her amazing educational puppet show to children before they received their new TOMS Shoes. He’ll take it from here:
“[On staff with Buckner International,] Giuli begins each distribution by gathering the kids together. Joining are their parents, watching in the background eagerly and helping them find a place to sit. Giuli lays out a black hoodie in front of her, which turns the space into her own personal stage. She commands attention by using her arm as a volume control meter; raising and lowering it to reflect their shouts of excitement.
I recalled a number of my friends who are teachers struggle a little with getting their students together to quiet down and listen. It was amazing to watch Giuli achieve this with the community’s kids minutes after first meeting them. Giuli then takes their voices into an imaginary ball and tosses it to Suzy, my friend and fellow TOMS employee on the Giving Trip with me. While the ‘ball’ was in the air the kids continue to scream in excitement. Suzy ‘sees’ the ‘ball,’ catches it and covers it, silencing the crowd of children with just a few stifled giggles.
Giuli begins her story, asking the crowd if they’d like to meet her friend, Tato, the protagonist of her educational skit. The kids eagerly reply, ‘sí’ and, with the flip of her hat, Giuli becomes Tato to their amusement.
She communicates the importance of deworming medication and with that, the need for shoes as a form of protection. The young crowd reacts when Tato removes his TOMS Shoes in front of the hookworm puppet. By the end, the children are anxious to receive their new TOMS Shoes, along with deworming medication if they so choose to take it.
During our week in Peru, we saw Giuli perform as Tato seven times. Not once did her inspiring enthusiasm and energy waiver and it was interesting to see the different reaction amongst the community’s kids. It is such a privilege for us to be on this Giving Trip to see how the One for One model helps organizations like Buckner and people like Giuli inspire individuals through education and health initiatives.
One for One.”