One of the most powerful and growing movements in business is the emphasis on giving back, as more and more companies are realizing they can make a difference in people's lives and at the same time improve their bottom line. It's an ethos exemplified by companies like Warby Parker, which donates a pair of eyeglasses to someone in need for every pair sold, and TOMS, which does the same with shoes through its global giving program, "One For One."
That effort, which has donated 2 million pairs of shoes to children in more than 50 countries worldwide, began when TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie -- who also answers to the title Chief Shoe Giver -- traveled to Argentina in 2006. He saw just how many challenges children face when they grow up without shoes, from infections and injury to reduced education opportunities, since many schools require children to wear shoes. So no shoes, no education, no future.
As Amanda Schwartz puts it in her blog post about Partners in Health's partnership with TOMS in Malawi, where many people have to walk five miles just to get to a health clinic: "Walking five miles anywhere is hard for most everyone. Walking five miles when you're sick is unimaginable. Walking five miles when you're sick and when you are a kid is terrifying. Can you imagine what it would be like to do that and to be barefoot?"
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