TOMS shoes puts heart and sole into giving back

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Students this Saturday will have the opportunity to decorate a pair of TOMS shoes in order to raise awareness for the TOMS movement and connect with local media outlets. (Julia Tylor/DD)

Students this Saturday will have the opportunity to decorate a pair of TOMS shoes in order to raise awareness for the TOMS movement and connect with local media outlets.

TOMS Style Your Sole event, which will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the Downtown campus, will feature local artists, free food and music provided by 101.5 JAMZ.

The Cronkite Council is hosting the event. Kaitlynn Boyd, president of the Cronkite Council, said the purpose of Style Your Sole is twofold.

“We wanted to offer a fall festival-type situation where all the community and students can come down and converse with each other and journalism students can see a little bit of an intro on how news outlets cover the event, but it’s also for a good cause,” she said.

The TOMS One for One movement inspired Style Your Sole, Boyd said. The TOMS website describes One for One: “With every pair (of TOMS shoes) you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.”

Boyd said students who own a pair of TOMS can bring them to the event, where they can either decorate the shoes themselves or let local artists customize them. She said she hopes the event will also make students and community members more aware of the TOMS movement.

“The whole reason TOMS was created was for podoconiosis, which is a disease that affects children who … walk in the soil, and (it’s) actually killing them, not only in third-world countries but in the United States,” she said. “So we wanted to bring light to that issue and show that we’re behind this campaign.”

Jordan Johnson, a sophomore journalism student, said she likes the idea of making the TOMS movement accessible to students and giving them an opportunity to make an impact for a cause.

“The thing that inspires me most about TOMS movement is the fact that even just one person has the ability to make a difference in someone else’s life, even if that person is halfway across the world,” she said.

Jordan said she plans to buy a pair of TOMS and have a local artist decorate them.

“TOMS shoes are cool and I have an opportunity to get them customized,” she said. “I also get the opportunity to donate a pair of shoes to someone who needs them, and that’s really a great thing.”

Tommy Hanson, a freshman member of the Cronkite Council, said the TOMS movement inspires him and he hopes the Style Your Sole event will encourage more students to get involved.

“Since we have the largest student body in the country, it’s nice to give them the opportunity to help the TOMS movement,” he said. “I think students will actually feel like they are personally a part of TOMS while participating in the event. Plus they get the opportunity to have artists deck out their shoes.”

Contact the reporter at jtylor@asu.edu