Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Why I Didn't Participate in TOMS #WithoutShoes

Every year TOMS has a one day campaign. This year, for May 5th, TOMS decided that for every instagram picture with the hashtag "WithoutShoes", and a picture of your bare feet, it would donate a pair of free shoes to a child in need....

Here's 3 reasons why i refused to participate.

1) Giving shoes is probably not (it's really not) the best public health method to decrease poverty. As one article puts it:

"Imagine there is a school of 1,000 students in rural developing anywhere. Hookworm and infections are common among the population, as the students must walk through an area some in the community have begun to use as a latrine. Assuming each pair of shoes is about a $27 value (half the cost of the average buy-one-give-one TOMS shoe), you can give each child a pair for $27,000, a fix that would likely prevent any continued hookworm incidence for the next two years until the shoes inevitably wear out (that’s a generous time frame)."

*In reality it probably costs $5 to make the shoes. That's still $5000. According to charity water, $5000 is what you need to build a well for clean water. Maybe instead of donating shoes for their one day campaign, they should donate money that can make an necessary difference.

2) SPeaking of wearing out...I've never owned a pair of TOMS shoes, but sometimes when I see people wear it...it's usually falling apart. Which then makes me wonder- if the shoe falls apart so easily in the US, where we walk less than a mile or two a day (and we don't wear the same shoe everyday), how long will it last a child who has to walk 7-8+ miles to go to school. Do they have to wait until someone from a developed country takes a picture of their bare feet before they can get another pair of free shoes??? lolololol but really, everyone, this is a serious question.

3) Good intentions are NOT enough- I get you TOMs, I do. You want people to think about poverty. But maybe what you're really doing is fueling a generation that believes problems can be solved if people all talk about it in social media. Kony2012 anyone? Sadly, we live in a society where people are so caught up in their own lives that we often forget how to really care for others. Because let me tell you, some child living in a developing world does not appreciate that all you did was take a picture of your ugly, bare feet, think you made some good in the world, and then go back to online shopping.

HASHTAG NO. ugh. trollololl

I will say though, kudos to TOMS for making some changes to their company after it got SLAMMED a couple of years ago. In fact, it now also gives free glasses and helps provide clean water. But I do think it's shoe donation for a purchase of TOMS is kind of ridiculous... I will admit though that TOMS shoes can be cute. So if you're buying them because they look good, good for you. #fashionforward.  But, if part of the reason why you justify spending $50+ on canvas shoes is because it's helping some kid out...shame on you

**btw, if you participated in this campaign i hope you then donated the cost of a TOMS shoe to a charity of your choice. just sayin...

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