In the middle of all the excitement of our adoption in Rwanda the holidays are also creeping up upon us. So I thought I would feature some great alternative gift ideas. I was looking through my most recent magazine from Heifer International, "The World Ark", and it featured a interview with Austin Bailey the founder of Tom's Shoes. So I did some Internet research and learned about this amazing and growing business that truly is all about paying it forward. For every shoe sold they produce and give away a shoe to a person in need in a specific country. The project started in Argentina and has spread to Ethiopia. They primarily choose Ethiopia because of the high occurrence of a specific disease that most people in the US or Europe have never heard of. It is called Podoconiosis. It is a terrible disease that is contracted simply by having a set of risk factors including not wearing shoes on volcanic soil. It is common in countries of East Africa and very prevalent in Southern Ethiopia where our daughter is from. Here is a video from Tom's that explains why they choose Ethiopia.
Now if you have been impacted, then check out the Toms website at http://www.tomsshoes.com/default.asp. Many of the shoes are made of organic cotton and they have T-shirts as well. For every shoe, T-shirt, or Hoodie purchased they donate a pair of shoes. What a great Christmas gift idea!