THE BLOG
04/16/2013 10:40 am ET Updated Jun 16, 2013

One Day Without Shoes 2013

Today is the sixth time we've engaged our community in One Day Without Shoes, and in many ways, this day has become an anniversary of reflection.

For many who will be participating today by taking off their shoes, the moment may last the length of an event or perhaps a full day. For those of us behind-the-scenes at TOMS HQ, it's something we spend hours, weeks and months discussing. Why are we doing this again? Will our community want to take off their shoes year after year? Has it become too weird, do we get our message across, is it still relevant?

The answer we always return to is simple: One Day Without Shoes is a critical part of the One for One movement, and this year is no different.

Last week, I stood in front of the TOMS family at HQ and spoke very openly about our responsibility as entrepreneurs of the One for One model. I spoke about how there is a generation's belief that business and sustainable giving can live together, and we are committed to keeping that belief and that commitment alive.

I spoke about how incredibly proud I am that we "repeat give" to those in need -- because as you can imagine, children's feet grow quickly, and therefore, we want to be there to give them their second, third and fourth pair of shoes. That's pretty special to reflect upon.

And I also spoke about the need for an amazing group of passionate and committed individuals, ready for the challenge of engaging and inspiring the world to think about business and consumerism differently. That passionate community extends far beyond the walls of HQ, however, and One Day Without Shoes is a beautiful illustration of a powerful movement.

Our Chief Giving Officer, Sebastian Fries, had this to say about One Day Without Shoes:

One Day Without Shoes has evolved. Like our company, it started as a small, grassroots idea. But as we have learned about the great potential a simple intervention can have, it is no longer just a day to go barefoot for kids without shoes.

This is a day to challenge your own perspective on consumerism, challenge your peers, and lastly, challenge us. If going barefoot inspires you to tell one stranger that there is a way of doing business that can shape our future in a significant and positive way, then One Day Without Shoes 2013 has been a success.

I encourage you to read a few articles our Giving Partners have contributed to the awareness aspect of One Day. Here, goods for good speaks about the work they do in Malawi, and their approach to serving the needs of the community through "community enterprise programs." Partners in Health writes here about how they integrate shoes in to their health intervention programs.

To learn more about how you can get involved, please visit OneDayWithoutShoes.com.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and TOMS, in recognition of One Day Without Shoes, an annual day to bring global awareness to children's health and education by going without shoes. For more information, visit OneDayWithoutShoes.com

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