International (MNN) — The concept behind TOMS shoes has struck a chord with people–especially humanitarian young people–around the globe.
The idea behind the iconic canvas shoe is fairly simple: for every pair of shoes someone buys, another pair is donated to a child who has no shoes. TOMS' "One for One" approach has given the brand international recognition while at the same time providing for the health and well-being of children worldwide.
In the brand's explosion over the last few years, though, how have they been able to actually donate one pair of shoes for every single one purchased? It's been, in part, through a number of organizations, and now Buckner International is one of them.
For years, Buckner has been running its Shoes for Orphan Souls program in which churches, schools, and individuals collect shoes and send them to Buckner; the ministry, in turn, gives the shoes to children in need.
Buckner's first interaction with TOMS was via a TOMS Shoes distribution for children at the Buckner Community Transformation Center in Guatemala in March. The new shoes were a way to help children maintain their health and pursue opportunities like education, said Buckner's Matt Asato.
TOMS commitment to children is not a one-time thing, though. The company looks for long-term partners. Now that Buckner's a partner, there will be a lot more shoes coming.
Roberto Tejada, Buckner Guatemala's CTC director, says, "Because Buckner is now a TOMS Giving Partner, this gift of shoes means we have a partner that understands how meeting the physical needs of children is so important to the population we serve. This is not just a distribution of shoes: this is a distribution of hope."
The TOMS partnership provides Buckner access to even more shoes than they bring in with the Shoes for Orphan Souls, a program which continues. Pray that this would be an open doorway for many children to come through the CTC and learn about the greatness of a God who provides.