TOMS. You’ve seen them. You know about them. You may have already bought some. But I’m going to tell you what you may or may not know about the trendy, colorful shoes you see all over campus and why TOMS wants you to not wear any shoes at all this Thursday.

The purpose of TOMS is simple: buy a pair of shoes and another pair is automatically donated to a child in need of shoes. But there’s more to it than that. TOMS is a movement. If you take a look on the official TOMS shoes Web site, you can find under “Our Movement” a clear explanation of what TOMS is and how it came to be. Basically, a traveler by the name of Blake Mycoskie (@BlakeMycoskie) befriended children in Argentina who had no shoes. Troubled by this, Blake decided to create a company that would match every pair of shoes sold with a pair given to a child in need. whatwedo1

Since then, TOMS has given through shoe drops and trusted organizations over 140,000 pairs of shoes (as of April 2009) to children in need through the this One for One model. This year, TOMS plans to give over 300,000 pairs of shoes to children around the world. You can join TOMS by hosting community events to tell people about the shoes, applying for an internship or enter to win a Shoe Drop Tour in Argentina, which allows you to experience firsthand the act of giving.

Ok so, “Why shoes?” you ask. In developing countries, walking is usually the primary mode of getting around. Some children walk MILES just to get food, water or medical help. Because of this, their feet are prone to cuts and sores, which can lead to infection. Did you know the leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted parasites which penetrate the skin through open sores? Wearing shoes can prevent this. (All of this information and more can be found on the official Web site, check it out!! and watch a short video of a shoe drop) If you have yet to get your own pair of TOMS, shop around on the Web site and use the promo code odwssa6EIX09050 once you find the pair you want!

THIS THURSDAY APRIL 16TH is One Day Without Shoes. TOMS is encouraging you to leave your shoes at the door in an effort to bring attention to the impact a simple pair of shoes can have on one’s life. So go barefoot for the day or just long enough to raise awareness. One Day Without Shoes events are being planned all over the country so visit the event page or the Facebook page to get more info about how OSU will be spreading awareness and find ways to get everyone involved! It’s coming up so decide now if you’re willing to go barefoot… I know I am.

* For more information about what you can do and all the simple way to help TOMS, visit, a non-profit organization that creates and coordinates avenues for further involvement in the TOMS One for One movement.