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Customers deliver donated TOMS shoes

Travel & Tourism

Back in 2006 we wrote about TOMS Shoes, an organization whose matching program donates a pair of shoes for every one that’s purchased from the company. Now TOMS has launched a volunteer program by which customers can hand-deliver those donated shoes themselves. TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie was originally inspired by the disadvantaged children he saw while travelling through Argentina, and TOMS continues to donate its shoes to South American children in need. The Friends of TOMS program, however, now invites customers over 18 to travel there themselves as part of a series of what it calls Argentina Shoe Drops. Each weeklong Shoe Drop takes groups of 15 volunteers to see the places and people that inspired Blake to create his “shoes for tomorrow,” distributing donated shoes along the way. Following the inaugural Argentina Shoe Drop last month, additional ones are scheduled for September, October and November of this year. In addition to airfare, the trip costs about USD 1,800, which includes all lodging, group meals, transportation within Argentina and regional group activities. Volunteers are responsible for booking their own flights to Buenos Aires. There are plenty of organizations out there that offer voluntourism opportunities, including Ritz-Carlton’s Give Back Getaways program, which we covered not long ago. But California-based TOMS is one of the first we’ve seen to link such opportunities with a specific product, giving customers a rich experience as well as the knowledge that they’ve helped out. A winning combination to consider for any firm with a charitable component! Spotted by: Mila Roberts

Email: shoedrop@tomsshoes.com

Website: www.friendsoftoms.com

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