Sunday, January 16, 2011

Meet the newest members of our family...

This is Left Tom.

And this is Right Tom.

I don't want these guys to feel like they're known by specific characteristics, (no discriminating here) so I'll just refer to them as Toms.

They joined the family yesterday. Now I know what you're thinking, that Kyler and I aren't really family yet. You're right. But that's not the family I'm talking about anyway. I'm talking about THIS family. The one that lives in the bottom of my closet.

And continuing on my mind-reading antics, I know what else you're thinking after seeing the above picture. "What kind of shoes do you wear in the summer?" Do not worry, my friends, my summer shoes are either packed in a box under the bed or at my parents' house. I hope you didn't think those were ALL of my shoes.

But back to the Toms.

For Christmas, my future mother-in-law got all the girls/women (I think I'm the only girl left. Aren't unmarried females girls and married females women? Or what IS the difference?) a pair of Toms. I may have mentioned to her that Toms were all the rage on the IU campus and that I was dying to get a pair. And I may have had Kyler email her a link to the Toms website with my preferred color and size...on like December 15th. And on Christmas, I opened up a pair of Toms. Unfortunately I had turned in my Christmas list too late, but the fabulous lady that she is had already ordered me a pair. Actually, the only unfortunate thing was that the size wasn't right. It wasn't her fault. I have ever-changing sized feet. Last year she got me a pair of 7.5s, and this year I only wear 7s. I'm shrinking...or at least my feet are.

So we (as in Terry) shipped back the other pair, and Friday new, more properly sized Toms arrived on my doorstep! I giddily opened them up and tried them on.

And then realized that after being on the porch for hours, the insides were freezing cold, so I promptly took them off and admired them on my kitchen table.

I tell you what, I haven't even worn the Toms yet, and they're already life-changing. For those of you unfamiliar with Toms, let me explain.

Last spring, I attended the Check Your Label symposium, organized by the director of Alternative Breaks Program, a wonderful lady whom I work with daily. The symposium was all about clothing choices and how consumer spending impacts lives all over the world. The four speakers there all had different experiences with choosing their clothing strategically to make a difference in those with less fortunate social and economic conditions. The keynote speaker of the day was Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms shoes.

Here is Blake's story taken from the Toms website:

"In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers."

Now you're probably thinking, "Why shoes?" Well, the Toms website also tells us that.

"Many children in developing countries grow up barefoot. Whether at play, doing chores or going to school, these children are at risk:

A leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted diseases, which can penetrate the skin through bare feet. Wearing shoes can help prevent these diseases, and the long-term physical and cognitive harm they cause.

Wearing shoes also prevents feet from getting cuts and sores. Not only are these injuries painful, they also are dangerous when wounds become infected.

Many times children can't attend school barefoot because shoes are a required part of their uniform. If they don't have shoes, they don't go to school. If they don't receive an education, they don't have the opportunity to realize their potential."

Wow! How unconceivable is it that a pair of shoes can make such a difference in a person's life? Although I do love the style and comfort and trendiness of the Toms, it may be the fact that somewhere, because of my future mother-in-law's purchase on my behalf, a child's life is a little bit better.

And that is why I love my Toms!


  1. Your favorite/future MILJanuary 17, 2011 at 6:02 AM

    Glad you finally got them...and like them! Guess in 5 more months you'll officially be a "woman"!
    Love you!

  2. And in 5 more months you can have all your shoes together in your new home :) Love ya!

  3. Great post, Kara. Always a joy reading up on u both! Your friend Tom has a very "grounded" occupation. ;-)