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.