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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

TOMS in NOLA

TOMS hosted our first Shoe Drop in New Orleans yesterday. As with our US Shoe Drops we held this past fall, we brought markers for the kids to draw on their shoes and get their creativity flowing. We were set up right next to the playground, which was really cool to see all the kids running around, decorating their shoes, and having such a care-free afternoon. They created masterpieces with hearts, flowers, Spiderman, and polka dots, and some enlisted us to help draw, too.

Its refreshing to get outdoors with a group of kids, run around and play football and basketball, fit them into a fresh new pair of TOMS and just let all worries melt away. As soon as you're there, it doesn't matter how old or young you are, what you own or what you don't... you get a chance to simply enjoy good company and a positive environment. Every Shoe Drop is special like that.

These kids were incredibly gracious, and we all really appreciate the school's hospitality. They brought us booklets filled with thank you notes the students had created themselves which we'll take back to HQ and share with our staff.



I'm incredibly impressed with the KIPP school program, one that challenges students with an intense curriculum. These students are not limited by their culture, their financial situation, or upbringing- they have equal accessible opportunities that steer them towards success. The progressive academic environment is reflected in these quotes and phrases all over the school... I'm thinking of putting up similar signs up at TOMS to remind us to follow wisdom that is really relevant at any age and at every organization.



8 comments:

Katherine Garcia said...

I want to be part of the vagabond tour. I am 20 years old and I reside in Los Angeles. Email me at garcia.katherine@gmail.com. I am very interested!!!! Please reply.

Thank You Kindly,

Katherine L. Garcia

From the Big Apple said...

Dear Blake:
I am the Founder and CEO of the Khaya Cookie Company (khayacookies.com). My job is a bit like yours. I help Create Opportunity One Bite at a Time by hiring formerly unemployed men and women in South Africa to bake our all natural, preservative free cookies. I ensure that our production facility provides these formerly unemployed women and men with skills training and provide them and their families a better quality of life. I read your blog and saw your commercial and was DEEPLY MOVED by what you do. If you need some energy for your Vagabond tour..we'd love to help give you some energy for your tour in the form of Khaya Cookies. Just email us on info@khayacookies.com
Thank you for making the world a better place and Creating Opportunity One Shoe at a Time!
With Warm regards,
Alicia D. Polak
CEO & Founder
The Khaya Cookie Company

Sarah Madeline said...

I just read an article about you in the Phoenix paper - awesome organization. Really great. I like your community aspect and the simplicty of the answer: shoes.

I live in community, for a non-profit called Maggie's Place, we house homeless pregnant women (maggiesplace.org) - Helping others, simple answers of how to give people oppurtunities they would have never had is dear to my heart - I hope to purchase some shoes in the future (the burlaps are my fave) Blessings

Amber said...

Hi Blake,
I am currently a Physician Assistant at Emory University in the ATL... Glad to see you love NOLA my next favorite town. Medically we could use your help in giving foot care to our migrant farmworkers in southern Georgia who have never received healthcare or help from the US while coming here to work 18+ days in 110+ heat to pick apples which allows them to provide for their family. If you could contribute or join us in providing proper footwear for them it would be a giant step in giving back to the workers who go unrecognized in the US.
Thank You,
Amber

Amber said...

Hi Blake,
I am currently a Physician Assistant at Emory University in the ATL... Glad to see you love NOLA my next favorite town. Medically we could use your help in giving foot care to our migrant farmworkers in southern Georgia who have never received healthcare or help from the US while coming here to work 18+ days in 110+ heat to pick apples which allows them to provide for their family. If you could contribute or join us in providing proper footwear for them it would be a giant step in giving back to the workers who go unrecognized in the US.
Thank You,
Amber (whitmo31@msu.edu)

Lici said...

Just writing to ask whether I could help by painting some shoes? It's such a selfless thing you are doing and i'd like to volunteer something of myself as well. I'm an architecture student (at an art college) and I'm currently on summer vacation. I have some time on my hands and I'd like to get some information on whether you'd accept my contribution and how you'd suggest i'd go about helping. I won't be able to do hundreds on my own of course, but I suppose any contribution will help that many more kids. Hope to hear back. Bless.

Lici said...

Just writing to ask whether I could help by painting some shoes? It's such a selfless thing you are doing and i'd like to volunteer something of myself as well. I'm an architecture student (at an art college) and I'm currently on summer vacation. I have some time on my hands and I'd like to get some information on whether you'd accept my contribution and how you'd suggest i'd go about helping. I won't be able to do hundreds on my own of course, but I suppose any contribution will help that many more kids. Hope to hear back.

enchanted said...

Hey Blake,

I have been following your company since I heard about it through AT&T. I recently finished a research paper on social entrpreneuship and your company was the bases of my paper. I would lov to work with you and what you stand for. Please email me at m.g_garcia@yahoo.com or garcia.migg@gmail.com.

Thank you kindly,
Miggie Garcia :)
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!