TOMS One Day Without Shoes

onedaywihtoutshoes_toms_bychrystaldawn

If these TOMS could talk oh the stories they could tell! Well-worn and much loved, my trusty shoes pictured, traveled around the world with. My TOMS endured the Spanish sun and compost piles at Green Heart Ibiza, they kept me afloat during monsoon season in Sri Lanka and seldom left my sloes for the 5,000 kilometer journey overland though southern India by train, motorcycle and tuk tuk. All this the most amazing part of their story is-these shoes have sister pair, which TOMS gave away when mine were purchased. This second pair of shoes went to improving the life of another.

History

Since 2006 the brand TOMS has given away over 60 million pairs of new shoes to people in need around the world.  This year, as a part of the annual One Day Without Shoes (ODWS) movement, TOMS encouraged social media users to take a picture of their bare feet or their TOMS to post on instagram using a #withoutshoes hashtag.  Every tagged photo counted toward an over all giving goal of 100,000 pairs of new shoes for children in need in 10 of the countries that have played an integral role in the TOMS story.

Skating around Byron Bay withoutshoes photo by Celeste Twikler

Skating around Byron Bay withoutshoes photo by Celeste Twikler

Blake, Business and Children

For those fortunate enough to call Byron Bay, Australia home a day without shoes is a welcomed norm.  Here it is safe to wander around barefoot, local residents and visitors enjoy this luxury. What may not be known,  is that a life without shoes is neither safe or a choice for millions of people around the world. In these places going without foot protection can lead to injury, disease, and lack of education, from which the children suffer most.

When visiting Argentina in 2006, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie witnessed first hand the suffering children going with out shoes faced on a daily basis. He returned to the USA and founded the company TOMS and the One for One business model. TOMS started by making shoes, and for every pair of shoes purchased the company gives a pair of shoes to a person in need. The One for One model continues and TOMS is growing, now offering sunglasses, bags, and fair trade coffee. In return for each of these purchases they are giving sight,  safe birthing kits, drinking water and bullying prevention in 70 countries including the USA, India, and Jordan.

One for One

Blake’s One for One model has inspired other companies around the world to start giving back, changing the face of corporate giving, and provided individuals a way to give back with their purchase and TOMS Tribe; supporter led events.

May 10, 2016  was my second consecutive year of leading a TOMS day #withoutshoes event with Patagonia Byron Bay (PBB) here in Australia.  My dear friends Cathy and Glen Casey owners of the beautiful PBB establishment along with Tim Page and in conjunction with TOMS Australia, we put on an event that brought our local community together for a global cause.

One Day gathering Byron Bay

It was a true delighted to share the afternoon with so many lovely caring people who came out in support of the movement with their family's and friends. We shared delicious raw food created by macrobiotic chef Hiromi Matsubura, enjoyed a playful balance yoga session donated by the lovely Bess Prescott co-founder of Creature Yoga and marveled at Iki Yaso amazing art. Together with all the caring souls who attended, we helped TOMS to raise awareness and contributed to the 27,340 shoes that were donated for the cause. Together we do make a difference, every purchase we make matter brave souls, to find out more on how you can help check out the TOMS Tribe and mark May 12, 2017 on your calendar for next years ODWS.

Art by Iki Yaso

Art by Iki Yaso

The children really helped make the day special, art by Iki Yaso

The children really helped make the day special, art by Iki Yaso

Bess Prescott leading the playful Balance Yoga session

Bess Prescott leading the playful Balance Yoga session

Kay Whalesong bringing her joy to the event
Melissa Connell from Slow Travel Magazine and Greg from Slab Shappers
Joel Fitzgerald with artis Iki Yaso and Ayumi
Dan Fitzgerald and Second Loves founder Natalie

Gratitude

A massive mahalo nui loa to TOMS Australia, Tim Page, Cathy and Glen from Case & Co Byron Bay, Bess Prescott from Creature Yoga offering classes daily,  Hiromix Kitchen and Blanco Living who provide cooking classes and retreats, artist Iki Yaso who's art is for sale via his website,  Celeste Twikler for all her help with setup, photos and moral support and toSecond Loves Byron BayWild Search, Crystal Mountain Surfboards, Slow Travel Magazine, Slab Shapers, Joel Fitzgerald Surfboards and all the other incredible people who helped make this event the success it was with your presence, support and care.

shakas and barefeet at Patagonia Byron Bay