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My Generation

TOMS Shoes

Buy a shoe, help a child

There are millions of children around the world who are in desperate need of shoes. In many underdeveloped countries, proper footwear can mean the difference between comfort and debilitating foot diseases that can drastically impact a child's life.

See also: Create the Good.

Enter Blake Mycoskie, a young entrepreneur who is turning this need into the business venture of a lifetime. Rather than starting a traditional charity, Blake came up with a practical and profitable way to provide free shoes to kids all over the world.  In 2006, he started TOMS Shoes, a for-profit company with one simple business plan: for every pair sold, a new pair of shoes is donated to a child in need. Using this one-for-one model has caught the attention of a new breed of shopper—the compassionate consumer.

TOMS recently gave away its 1 millionth pair of shoes, and there's no sign of letting up. They've even expanded their business to include the same one-for-one deal on a new line of eyewear with the mission of distributing glasses to visually impaired people all over the world.

My Generation got a tour of TOMS headquarters to learn about the unique business plan of this very forward-thinking company.

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