Perfect for almost anything
We think it's about time you #MeetThePaseos, our newest style of TOMS Shoes, and the first pair designed especially for dudes. They're SoCal-inspired, functional and, well, just all-around cool. Read what they're about, & see who's wearing them! Read More >>
TOMS Eyewear's One for One = more than you think
We often share the transformative moments: when someone sees his/her grandchildren for the first time in years after a sight-‐restoring surgery, or when the chalkboard in a classroom is suddenly clear with a new pair of glasses. But the third component of TOMS Sight Giving is equally important. Read More >>
Change-makers weigh in
In light of our collab with Eastern Congo Initiative, we're broadening our scope and letting YOU weigh in on how you help people to change their own communities. Read what some incredible folks have shared... Read More >>
A few months ago, TOMS partnered with the Do Lectures, a British conference for forward thinkers to commune over ways in which to create meaningful and sustainable business models for the good of the community.
And a few months ago, Tim Griffiths was just a 23 year old student, working at a local computer retail shop, with with an interest in cycling adventures, technology, food, and coffee foam art. Until the fated day that he happened upon this blog post. The little wheels in his brain were set to overdrive.
You see, ever since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Tim had been determined to go out and do his part to help rebuild the Haitian community. Quickly learning that enthusiasm was no replacement for expertise in the world of volunteering, he turned to his university for help, and before long, he was put in contact with a local group that received him. What his time in Haiti lacked in duration it made up for in substance. Tim was moved by the energy of the Haitian people, who were eager to get going on entrepreneurial adventures to help rebuild their community and local economy, but just lacked the resources to do so.
Tim found himself back in the UK, overflowing with ideas, and the want to start something meaningful. But similar to his Haitian counterparts, he felt he lacked the resources. That’s when he entered to win the chance to attend the Do Lectures, a place that guides individuals to turn thoughts into actions. With no prior knowledge of film making or editing, he put together a video entry, submitted it, and… HE WON!
“Without sounding too grandiose, I think that The Do Lectures may prove to be one of the most life changing experiences of my time. Too often we are surrounded by people who want to tell us we can’t do things, or that it’s not possible. At The Do Lectures, you are surrounded by people who had already done it! I left the Do Lectures with the belief that I could achieve my dreams and i have been working on this ever since.” - Tim
Tim’s experience, combined with his love for coffee and Haiti’s agricultural wealth and coffee bean industry, has brought him to a solid goal. In 10 years time, Tim hopes to have a physical space in Bristol, England, that will sell coffee from and support private Haitian farmers.
Tim, congratulations and full steam ahead! We can’t wait to hear more about your progress…
To see how TOMS is currently doing it’s part to employ and sustain a group of local artists in Haiti, check out this entry: http://blog.toms.com/post/46346923036/toms-haiti-artist-collective
In honor of our partnership with the Eastern Congo Initiative, we asked our (amazing) community of change-makers to weigh in on a motivation, commitment and theme we share with ECI. We asked, “How do you support and advocate for people investing in their own communities?” Here’s how this TOMS fan answered:
By: Megan Ernst, University of Georgia
More than 34,000 students descend on Athens, Georgia every fall, earn degrees, and move on. Meanwhile, some children who grow up a mile from campus fall further and further behind. Something about that doesn’t sit right.
In September 2011, a month into my freshman year at the University of Georgia, I made a promise to do Whatever It Takes to bridge that gap.
Since the early days of TOMS, we’ve found our niche from an appreciation for innovation. When we first got going, that innovation came from a group of students and recent grads who wanted to Start Something that Matters. Seven years later, just a few miles from where it all began, we’re on a continued journey to invest in young minds; to embark on different ways to do business; and to seek to create and inspire positive change.
On the collaborative front this year, we’ve partnered on special-edition shoes with Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), an advocacy and grant-making organization committed to investing in the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With the org — already a Giving Partner — we give TOMS Shoes to children in the DRC, and now we’ve created Congolese-inspired shoes. But there’s a bigger, deeper and more widespread story to tell here, one that’s rooted in the culture, richness, and potential in the Congo, and what a joint effort to invest in its people will accomplish.
There’s a theme here that’s so human; so global: it’s of empowering people to change their own communities. So we’ve called in some help and opened the floor to students and recent grads who double as TOMS fans. We asked:
How do you support and advocate for people investing in their own communities?
Once again, your stories shook us. As we receive those responses, we’ll hand over authorship to guest storytellers here on the blog.
Let’s begin with Ashley Crane, a photojournalist from the University of Florida, who uses her blog, “My First Rodeo,” to chronicle some amazing endeavors in her eclectic community: http://blog.toms.com/post/52236479627/culture-is-painted-over-time
Then read “Whatever it takes” by Megan Ernst, of the University of Georgia, whose part of a meaningful project dedicated to education equality in her college town: http://blog.toms.com/post/52836245375/whatever-it-takes
if you’re interested in contributing to the blog with this prompt, inquire by e-mailing journalism@TOMS.com.
10. Fresh brews from our friends at Stone Brewery!
9. Take a look at our new Paseos, our first guys only shoe.
8. Get some culture people. Check out amazing works of art on display for a silent auction. You can even bid on some if you’re feelin’ rich!
7. One of artists will be working on a mural all week, see the big reveal in person (and not just tagged on instagram at #TOMSartofgiving)
6. Dance your face off with our Aussie DJ. The one and only Cutsnake will be on the ones and twos for your listening pleasure.
5. Buy a pair of TOMS Shoes/TOMS Eyewear and one of our artists will style them however you’d like.
4. Fresh brews… for reals!
3. Nom noms: True Foods will make sure everyone has a bite to eat, awwwww yeaaaah.
2. It’s Memorial day weekend, what else do you have to do?
1. It’s for a great cause gosh darn it! Proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the art program at the San Diego Youth Services
We could keep going but why don’t ya do yourself a favor and head over to Sun Diego and check it out for yourself. Event info here: http://toms.sh/166wqi1
…and take part in all the fun with the hashtag #TOMSartofgiving