TOMS Shoes recently commemorated its one millionth pair shoe drop by going back to where it all started, Argentina. Founder Blake Mycoskie was inspired to start the company in 2006 after visiting the country’s outlying villages and seeing that many of the children had no shoes to protect their feet. And so, TOMS was born, built on the premise of one donation for every purchase of the ultra-hip alpargatas, which have gone from being the footwear of choice for Argentina’s farmers to a favorite of trendsetters worldwide. To mark this major milestone, Mycoskie enlisted the help of AT&T, Gowalla and a few lucky contest winners to pass out shoes in Argentina. For a week, the team of about 30 humanitarians traveled through the rugged Misiones Province to distribute truckloads of shoes to children in need. The process involved lining the kids up, interacting with them and personally outfitting each with a pair of brightly colored TOMS shoes. Along the way, Mycoskie’s mission became a personal one for each involved in the trip. Of the once-in-a-lifetime experience, contest winner Minara Seunsom reflected, “I think it was a day they will remember as will I. . . . Nothing can be more rewarding than seeing the faces of the kids light up with happiness.” Congratulations to TOMS Shoes and company on this extraordinary achievement and for showing that giving back is always in style.
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