One for One….thanks Blake
The Leadership Summit was an amazing experience. Among my favorite aspects of the conference was the interview format that was used for several of the speakers. One of the interviews live at Willow Creek was with Blake Mycoskie, founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS shoes, who developed the for profit business with a commitment to ONE FOR ONE. For every single pair of TOMS shoes that he sells, he gives one pair to a child in need. Children all over the world live life with no shoes, and because of it are subject to diseases, infections, and even death. People thought that Blake was crazy for wanting to give ONE FOR ONE. They said to him, “if you want to GIVE why don’t you just start a non-profit?” Blake, with the capital he had from the sale of a shares in a previous company, could have bought and distributed 40,000 pairs of shoes before all of his resources ran out. He would have been forced to then begin asking for help to continue his mission. As a for profit company he has already put close to 700,000 pairs of shoes on the feet of kids in need in various parts of the world…and people’s passion for TOMS is just beginning to grow. On April 8th of this past year I came to the office barefoot, as 250,000 people across the country participated in, “a day without shoes,” to raise awareness for both the issue of kids with no shoes and the TOMS brand that is making such an impact.
Blake’s interview was tremendous. He has used his faith and his gifts in business as a young person (still on 33 years old) to have an impact on the world. Our culture today, specifically the culture of young people, want to help. My youth group gets more excited about missions than ANYTHING ELSE! Blake understands that sometimes, if you want to have an impact, you need to provide an opportunity. TOMS offers kids an opportunity to 1) get a cool pair of shoes, and 2) put a pair of shoes on the feet of a child in need! Amazing! I want to personally thank Blake for understanding how to use his God given gifts to have an impact. I’ve plugged in a couple of videos for you to watch…one shows Blake and his team on their first shoe drop, the other is about the one day without shoes (which next year is on April 5th, 2011!). Enjoy…and have an amazing Sunday. I am praying for you all today! Talk to you tomorrow!