Wednesday, May 19, 2010

LFG and TOMS Shoes: One for One

I seek balance in most things. I said MOST things. Free market(s) and entrepreneurship, balanced by the appropriate level of regulation and oversight is my mantra. Charity is crucial to the survival of humanity—no argument from me on this issue and I walk my talk by giving my time and money when possible. I’m at odds with the old Churchill quote…. “Show me a young man who is not liberal and I’ll show you a man with no heart—show me an old man who is not conservative and I’ll show you a man with no brain”. The older I get, the more moderate in my views I become. Without free markets there is inadequate prosperity from which to draw charitable resources. And for those of you who are convinced that government knows best how to assure that you have food, shelter and clothing—keep in mind that without a thriving economic engine, you have an inadequate base to tax. It’s all about balance.
Ok, that concludes my half baked indefensible treatise on free markets and charity. One of the best examples of balance is TOMS shoes. I love this Blake Mycoskie’s business model. He’s all about free markets, he’s all about style, texture, whimsy, choice and he’s all about giving. He’s not trying to eradicate HIV or put an end to genocide or human slavery—all honorable endeavors by the way. He’s all about giving a pair of shoes to a kid who has none. The beauty in his mission is the strength of simplicity. And never, ever equate simplicity with weakness. I think his one for one strategy is stellar.
So LFG and I go to the TOMS website. We read and watch a video clip and then we talk shoes. Hardly a typical shoe conversation, LFG and I discussed the implications of not having shoes to wear. shoes at all…zip…zero…nadda. She then realized that when selecting her pair of TOMS, an additional pair would be set aside for a deserving child.

If you’ve never been to the TOMS website, head over there and snoop around a little bit. Also, check out this video segment to get a peek at Blake's One for One strategy. 

One for One…it’s all good.
Onward with LFG in TOMS…ADG


K.S. Anthony said...

Moreso than the charity involved in giving to charities, ADG, I think the larger and more lasting effect is that you're teaching the spirit and importance of the same to LFG...and leading by example.



James said...

As always I am in awe of your parenting skills. I've told you before how blessed you are having LFG for a daughter, but she'll know one day it was a two way street.

JMW said...

I love the TOMS concept. I blogged about this several weeks ago, because I, too, was taken with the cause. Apparently this is quite a movement on college campuses.

cdclaycomb said...

ADG, I am relatively new to your blog. I stumbled across it a few weeks ago while surfing through style blogs to distract me from a terrible cold.

I have visited every day since and though I adore your style, it's your heart that keeps me coming back.

LFG is a very lucky girl indeed!

Anonymous English Female said...

ADG - You are a wonderful father and Toms is a terrific cause and business model. This is a very inspiring post on so many levels.

heavy tweed jacket said...

Thanks for this. I had no idea about TOMS, it's very inspiring what a simple idea can do.

Anonymous said...

I am a huge fan of charity. I give about 12% of my gross income to charities, and I live in a condemned trailer in the Maine woods.

I am not a fan of the government telling me, at the point of a gun, that it has been decided that I am going to pay an additional portion of my earnings to: (fill in the blank - provide the UAW with jobs for life, line the pockets of the executives at Goldman Sachs, subsidize Merino wool production, prop up NPR etc., etc.)

Charity, according to my definition, includes as a necessary component, free will. TOMS sending shoes to poor kids is charity, and we would all do better to follow their example.

I don't believe its government's job to take money from one person and give it to another person as charity.

Lucky Dog / The Commish said...

Excellent, ADG. And kudos to Anon.
Best Regards,

Anonymous said...

I liked your recent post about the Smile Train, and I appreciate you making me aware of another worthy cause. I will visit the TOMS website.

I was especially pleased to see that the children in photo, despite having no shoes, have apparently had decent dental care. Both the boy and the girl have nice smiles and seemingly healthy teeth.

Cindy said...

Thank you for yet another wonderful post - I recently discovered a project similar to TOMS - Small Steps - worth a look around as well! It's nice to know that your lovely daughter is being raised with such inspiring values!

ADG said...

K.S.Anthony and the Sunshine Band…I give everybody knicknames at some point…Thanks. Like I said, it’s all about balance.

James...Thanks as always. The feedback coming from you carries more weight. You’ve raised daughters to adulthood! And like I’ve said before…LFG makes it easy to be a good parent. She also has a superb mom.

JMW...TOMS is great…no doubt.

cdclaycomb...Thanks. I’m humbled.

AnonEngFem...Thanks as always.

heavy tweed...Isn’t it amazing that something this impactful can be so simple. And…even at one for one…I’m sure his margins on this thing are pretty healthy.

Anonymous12%...I’m not ready to join you off the grid just yet. Besides, when I do retreat, I’ll need to do it in a place of more moderate climate than Maine. You will be rewarded for your 12% commitment…God will see to it.

Lucky Dog / The Commish...Thanks man.

Anonymous ...RE the kids with good teeth…they are models from Palo Alto.