When Blake Mycoskie's time on The Amazing Race
in 2002 took him to Argentina, the sight of shoeless children during his return visit left enough of an imprint on him to rouse him into concrete action. Despite failing to win that edition of The Amazing Race
, Mycoskie had little time or inclination to fret or pout. Instead, he devoted himself to doing all that he could for those barefoot kids he saw playing even without shoes.
Back in August, we reported on the former Amazing Race
contender's TOMS Shoes venture, which he set up specifically to allow for shoes to be made available to the likes of those Argentine children. We check back on his progress since, courtesy of a story by CBS 11 News.
"When I saw these kids running around on glass, or trying to play soccer on a field that had a bunch of rocks, and had no shoes, I immediately wanted to find a way to give them shoes," Mycoskie said.
As of summer last year, TOMS had reportedly sold 10,000 pairs and Mycoskie had predicted hitting the 60,000 mark by the fall. To date, CBS 11 reports that he has sold 65,000 pairs across the country and now plans on unloading another 200,000 within the year.
"It's an Argentine canvas slip-on shoe that farmers, polo players, their girlfriends have been wearing for a very long period of time," Mycoskie said, describing the product. "For every pair of shoes that we sell, we give one pair away to a child that doesn't have shoes."
The rubber-soled shoes retail from $40-$48 and are available in 300 boutiques and department stores like Nordstrom.
"You can just tell in their face, as they're literally stepping down and feeling the cushion of the shoes, what a new experience that is for them, and it's amazing, every time we do it,” the former Amazing Race
hopeful described the thrill of actually giving the children the much-needed footwear.
-Rosario Santiago, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image Courtesy of blakemycoskie.blogspot.com)