As April approaches each year, all of us at TOMS start to notice a lot of posters,
photos, and banners with bare feet around TOMS HQ.
One Day Without Shoes. It's that time again. We're going barefoot on April 10 and we hope you'll join us.
TOMS began just 6 short years ago, and in the beginning, we really had to think out of the box. No doubt our community of smart, imaginative, dedicated followers have come up with some weird ideas over the years. The "take off your shoes and walk a mile barefoot" concept actually came to us from a campus club, and it's one of those special ideas that has just... stuck.
In 2006 we were a small team of eight working out of my apartment (half of those were interns), and we'd get so stoked every time we saw someone wearing TOMS. Fast forward to today, and sure -- there's a few more TOMS spottings, but there's still so much awareness to build about the Giving side of the TOMS One for One movement. That's part of the reason why we put so much time and energy in to making One Day Without Shoes more impactful year after year. It's one day where we focus 100 percent on the need: shoes.
The general concept for the past five years has been the same: take your shoes off for 10 minutes, walk a mile, or go all day barefoot. You'll quickly realize how uncomfortable it can be, and our hope is that this feeling creates a lasting connection you have with the need TOMS shoes aims to address. It's also likely that your friends, colleagues, and strangers will ask, "What are you doing? Where are your shoes?" and that provides you with an opportunity to share the story.
Because this campaign is all about awareness and education, we also worked with many TOMS Giving Partners to develop some really helpful in-depth material. You'll find an educational map in the "Learn More" section of the One Day Without Shoes microsite that highlights the different needs for shoes from country to country. And our mini blog on the ODWS site has new stories from the Giving field every week.
If you're part of any of our social media channels or get TOMS emails, you've heard about the exciting events, partners, and initiatives that will make up One Day Without Shoes 2012 (we know...you've heard a LOT. There's just too much to tell in one email!). If not, the One Day site, TOMS Facebook Page, and TOMS account on Twitter are a great resources. We have an amazingly diverse group of people participating - from college students, to musicians, to pro athletes, and Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. All different types of communities have created events in over 40 countries.
We know that so many people have needs of all kinds today, at home and abroad, whether they are related to the economy, family or friends, health or well-being. Regardless of your cause or your passion, we hope that One Day Without Shoes inspires you to think about the world in a different way, and to believe that even one off-beat idea can bring people together to create something positive.
If you'd like to show your support, here's what you can do:
- Look for an event in your area and show up on April 10th with no shoes on. Make friends with the fellow TOMS fans who are there!
- Take the lead and host your own event (post all over our Facebook wall or tweet to us about it - we want to know what you're doing!)
- Read through the educational pieces of the One Day Without Shoes microsite so you know why we're doing this
Check out the slideshow of ODWS events below: