At TOMS, we take our commitment to giving shoes seriously. Our Giving Department works hard to send custom, made-to-order shoes to fit the needs of all of the diverse communities in which our Giving Partners work.
We’ve learned that our Giving Partners put a significant amount of resources into distributing new TOMS Shoes to the children who need them most. And while some of these valued resourced are priceless — like relationships and trust within communities they serve — others can come with new, tangible expenses that make shoe distributions more difficult.
To help ease the challenges and offset the cost of TOMS shoe distributions, we tap into a resource we build in to our plans, which we call the “Last-Mile Contribution.” This support helps our Giving Partners cover the cost of freight, vehicle rentals, fuel, storage and labor (a term we use for the man — or donkey — power required to get the shoes to often-remote locations). Some of our partners even use it to provide meals and fresh water for the local volunteers that aid in distributing new TOMS to kids.
In promising to serve the needs and add value our Giving Partners’ programs, we make it our responsibility to east the process of distributing the goods we provide, to the best of our ability. We help our Giving Partners with these expenses and offer assistance that covers the costs of transporting the shoes we provide.
Over the years, we’ve seen some really innovative ways of getting shoes from the warehouse where they were stored into the field and onto the feet of the children who receive them. From our Giving Partners, we’ve received images of TOMS boxes being transported by long-tail boat in Central America, learned of donkeys as a means of transport in South America and heard about motorcycles carrying TOMS Shoes over treacherous, unpaved roads.
With all of the innovative ways we’ve seen our Giving Partners get shoes from their warehouse, into the field and onto the feet of the children, we are continually impressed with the creativity, dedication and commitment to giving shoes. We are grateful we can support them down to the last mile.