Podoconiosis (podo, for short) is a debilitating disease that causes painful swelling of the feet and legs due to irritants found in certain countries' soils. Podo is easily preventable and treatable with basic foot hygiene and shoes.
Since TOMS Founder Blake Mycoskie encountered people suffering from podo on a 2008 trip to Ethiopia, TOMS has joined professionals in multiple fields to work toward eliminating the disease.
According to the World Health Organization, about 4 million people are infected with podo, and most of them live in Ethiopia.
We are currently researching the use of shoes as program participation incentives, shoes as a barrier to soil-transmitted infections like hookworm and the effects of giving away shoes on local economies.
Based on what we learn, TOMS is able to tailor and make changes in how and where we give to have the greatest impact on communities in need.
We recently received the results of our first impact study, conducted in El Salvador by the University of San Francisco. We were pleased to learn the following:
We've given millions of dollars to organizations that help those in need. Our product collaborations allow us to give far more than shoes. Some of the nonprofits we've helped fund include: