I've had a meh-affair with Tom's shoes since they first became popular. I'm not overly fond of the style, although I'm all for comfort. When I heard someone refer to them as "Foot Diapers", I couldn't stop laughing. That is exactly what they look like to me.
My 8-year old daughter is getting her first pair of Tom's shoes soon. She's paying for them herself, with Birthday money and other money she's saved, as these Foot Diapers don't come cheap. They're ordered and on the way, and she is so excited :) My 19-year old has bought several pairs of Tom's, liking both the comfort and the fact that Tom's gives away a pair of shoes to a needy child for each pair sold.
But today, my skeptic's heart wondered: what kind of shoes are being given away? What if Tom's takes the money for these (seriously overpriced) shoes, and instead of giving away a similar pair, gives $5.00 flip-flops to impoverished kids? How awful would THAT be?
So I found this video...
...and can't stop crying.
All those little faces...all those little toes...they're so like my own kids, in so many ways.
All children love to play; all children love hanging out with friends, having fun.
But so many kids around the world have never had a pair of shoes of their own. While my 8-year old is excited that her new shoes are on the way, it's hardly the first pair she's received. She doesn't have to worry that a cut on her foot may lead to gangrene or tetanus or other life-threatening diseases. A new pair of shoes for us means something very different than a new pair of shoes for a child in extreme poverty. Here in the United States, we live with proper sewage facilities, free of diseases that children in third world countries succumb to every single day--diseases that could be prevented by protective footgear. We've got to stop thinking of "those" kids as people who are somehow different than us, happy to be shoeless, not bothered by the fact that they aren't protected against disease. Their little faces tell us they are exactly like us, like our kids, like we were as kids.
It's enough to make me want to purchase a pair of Tom's.
"Stand, therefore, having your ... feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace..." Ephesians 6:14-15 (KJV)
(This video not cooperating on Blogger. Please cut and paste to view--sorry. I promise it's worth 2 minutes of your time!)