What: Volunteer trip to Argentina for TOMS Shoes, a company that matches every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need.
Why: Children in developing countries lacking shoes are at risk for injury that prevents them from attending school: soil-transmitted diseases, cuts and sores. Some, like kiddos in Mendoza, walk miles daily to and from school. Since shoes are required as part of their uniform, no shoes means no school.
Would I do it again?
Probably not. Read TOMS Shoes: Good Marketing – Bad Aid for a good assessment of the issues around this type of aid. On the other hand, I’ve seen an increase in the number of young people engaged in social causes due to the awareness TOM’s marketing has generated.
Conclusion: “Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good; try to use ordinary situations.”- Jean Paul Richter