Toms Shoes, a philanthropic shoe company based in Santa Monica, has provided a special push this last month in its campaign to provide shoes for Ethiopians suffering from Podoconiosis. The disease, caused by walking on soil contaminated by silica, leads to massive swelling, ulcers and deformities in the feet and lower legs, often resulting in social isolation and loss of employment prospects. Between 500,000 and 1 million Ethiopians are suffering from Podoconiosis, a condition which could be prevented with the provision of footwear.
For 30 days, from November 20th through December 20th, TOMS asked holiday shoppers to help give 30,000 pairs of shoes to children in Ethiopia suffering from a debilitating disease that is 100% preventable by wearing shoes. By purchasing a pair of shoes for men, women or children, shoppers became a part of the TOMS Holiday mission and participated in the true spirit of holiday giving. For every pair purchased, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need: One for One.
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To display the progress of the campaign, TOMS added a “shoe meter” to its website that displays the total number of shoes given with the end goal of 30,000 pairs. Through this meter, TOMS supporters were able to track the success of the campaign and witness their personal contributions to children in need. The good news, according to the Toms Shoes blog, is that the campaign led to the provision of over 37,000 shoes.