Toms is a unique organization. The shoe seller refuses to call itself a company, rather, choosing to think of itself as a movement; a distinction that’s difficult to argue because of Toms’ long-standing policy of giving away a pair of new shoes for every pair that it sells on its site. To date, Toms has given away more than a million pairs of shoes to children around the world. It’s a noble and admirable goal and one that parents everywhere can appreciate.
Routinely, Toms brings its employees on trips to deliver shoes so that they can meet the kids that benefit from their hard work. Now, Toms wants to share that experience with its customers. Through the Toms “Ticket to Give” program, one customer will be selected every week for the next year to join company founder Blake Mycoskie on an international giving trip. Winners will get to witness, first-hand, the impact of delivering new shoes to children in need, while immersing themselves in the art, culture, and food of the local community.
The contest is open to all Toms customers, ages 13 and older, who register for the contest after purchasing a pair of shoes or eyewear. Fifty-two winners will be selected and, as with a certain chocolate factory tour, each can bring a guest. “I was inspired by the wonderment of Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket,” said Mycoskie. “The greatest part of my job is going on our Giving Trips. We have an unbelievably passionate community, many of whom tell us they would love to go on a Toms Giving Trip. So we thought, ‘What can we do to show them how thankful we are for them?'”
“We want to take as many people as possible on our Giving Trips,” added Mycoskie, “and the Toms Ticket will give someone a chance to see a holistic approach to our giving. Our hope is that our fans who win a Toms Ticket and join us will have life-changing experiences, and they’ll come back with a fresh perspective on their communities, their jobs, their lives… and the lives of others.”
The first winner will be picked today and the contest will continue for the next year. Mycoskie is hoping to notify each of the first several winners in person and will be joining the winners on the first several Giving Trips.