This month, we were lucky enough to have Shoe Giving Partner Guyana Medical Relief’s COO, Sharir Chan, visit us at our Flagship store in Venice. Sharir shared how the 100 percent volunteer organization has been able to leverage its partnership with TOMS to enhance the overall livelihood of the people of Guyana.
Guyana Medical Relief has been a TOMS Shoe Giving Partner for nearly two years. As a part of the organization’s growth, GMR has incorporated TOMS shoe distributions into their mission of providing medical health and supplies to the people of Guyana, a small country in South America. Working within the country’s health sector, GMR aids rural hospitals by providing not only medicine and medical supplies, but also by distributing new TOMS Shoes as an incentive to locals for coming in for regular health checkups.
In Guyana many locals are not aware of the important role they can have in their own health. Sharir told us that the combined lack of health education and resources — which can include shoes — has led the population to be susceptible to foot-related illnesses and soil-transmitted infections.
Since partnering with TOMS, GMR has distributed thousands of new shoes to children in need. Using these health clinics as a means of distribution in hard-to-reach rural areas means the word can spread of the importance of regular health screenings, which gives Guyanese people the opportunity to take control of their own healthcare.
“We are so grateful to distribute TOMS to kids in Guyana,” Sharir told the audience. “TOMS is helping us relieve school absences and encourage parents to bring their children in for the necessary check-ups.”
To learn more about how TOMS gives, visit www.toms.com/our-movement.