Friday, July 26, 2013


We used a classroom for our shoe distribution day
One of the days we were out in the community was set aside as our TOMS giving day. We were really excited, knowing this had been a great day for our site in the past.  TOMS gives shoes every 6 months, if possible, so the kids at our site had already experienced two TOMS distribution days.

I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with TOMS. I liked the idea before, but when I learned that they come back every 6 months (because kids' feet grow fast) and that they match the TOMS to the culture/terrain of the area, I was really delighted.  For Swaziland, they have a great rubber sole with good gripping and their TOMS are black, because that is what the kids there have to wear with their school uniforms. And I was glad to see they really are a much sturdier shoe than what you get when you buy a pair in America.

Our little set-up during a quick lull that morning

Ms. Similane had TOMS day down to an art form. She'd send the kids in in groups of 5-10, our first two "sizers" would size their feet, write the number on the child's hand, then send him/her back to the three in the back who were "shoeing."  They'd place the shoes on the child's feet to make sure they fit (and if they didn't would call to the runner for a different size).

Sizing feet!
Writing the shoe size on his hand

Once we had two good fitting TOMS on a kiddo's feet, we'd draw a heart around the shoe size so we'd know that child received a pair of TOMS. At the door, we'd check them off on the chart we send back to TOMS, and give that child an orange. It was really a smooth process.

Asking each child his/her age was sometimes harder than you'd think!
Look in his hands - those are his old TOMS! New ones on his feet! :)
Waiting for new shoes!

Flat Reece was there with us. He was very helpful. :)
If you don't know this story, ask me, it's hilarious!
At the end of the morning, we had given out 251 pairs of TOMS shoes. There were only four children we had to send away without any shoes. TOMS policy is that the kids have to walk out in their new shoes (because good fit is important) so you can't hand them a pair of shoes and let them walk away.  But for the four kids we didn't have the right size for, we had knitted caps they could choose from.

We saw a few miracles happen this day too. We ran out of the bigger sizes really quickly, and at one point, I told Ms. Similane that I didn't think we would have shoes for a group of 6 boys who were next in line to come in but that we wanted to size them so that the next team would be sure to have bigger sizes. She told the boys and they said they understood. They came in and, I still don't know how this happened, we were able to fit every single one of them with a pair of shoes! And these were boys who live at the school - they have truly no other way in their lives right now to get a new pair of shoes.  God is so good, y'all.

My team for the week. We really clicked.
Every single one of these folks is an amazing blessing!

1 comment:

  1. shoes - such a simple thing to most of us - how overwhelming.........


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