April 26
Give Back Stories: TOMS for Tots to Teens!

GiveBack_SOCIALtoms.jpgHello! Destination Management South Florida enjoyed finding a new way for our clients to give back to the local community during a recent conference in Ft. Lauderdale. We called it “TOMS for Tots to Teens.” Each guest was able to hand decorate a pair of TOMS shoes for a local child while also benefiting kids in other countries. They each turned a pair of plain canvas TOMS shoes into a work of art that any child would be excited and proud to wear. Our guests used fabric markers, paint, glitter, and other decorating supplies to put their personal touches on dozens of pairs of TOMS shoes.

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Just in case you don’t know the TOMS story, In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers.

  • Many children in developing countries grow up barefoot. Whether at play, doing chores or going to school, these children are at risk:
  • A leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted diseases, which can penetrate the skin through bare feet. Wearing shoes can help prevent these diseases, and the long-term physical and cognitive harm they cause.
  • Wearing shoes prevents feet from getting cuts and dangerous when wounds become infected.
  • Many times children can't attend school barefoot because shoes are a required part of their uniform. If they don't have shoes, they don't go to school. If they don't receive an education, they don't have the opportunity to realize their potential.

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Closer to home there is also a need for shoes. Many families in America today are struggling to put food on the table and new shoes or shoes that fit properly are a luxury that these families cannot afford. Our guests chose to give their TOMS masterpieces to the Jack & Jill Children’s Center, a Ft. Lauderdale school for children of high-need working families. To inspire the participants, the event concluded with a speaker from Jack & Jill Children’s Center, who explained to the participants what an impact these shoes will make. TOMS matched our group’s donation and distributed shoes internationally through their One for One program. It’s always a joy to partner with guests in giving back!

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