There are many disadvantages and obstacles that can occur through all people. Though they may be a major set back, many people don’t realize that these obstacles can be used to their advantage. Most people encounter an obstacle or disadvantage and give up not knowing it could be turned into something positive. When we are faced with an obstacle, we can all roll up our sleeves and find a way to turn the situation good. For example, the founder of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie turned the obstacle of poverty in many countries into an opportunity to improve the lives of others by creating a for-profit organization which gives them, shoes, glasses, and spreads awareness. The first thing the organization provides is shoes for people in over 50 countries. Whenever someone buys a pair of TOMS shoes, one is given a pair in a different country; this is where the slogan “One for One” came from. Shoes might not seem important to us but it is extremely important to the people who cannot afford them. Shoes help protect children’s feet from getting hurt and possibly even getting infected. This means the children will not get sick and be healthy enough to attend school. Not having shoes also affects children’s education. Almost every school in any country require shoes as a part of school uniform.
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If all children received shoes, school attendance would increase by 62%, that’s a huge difference. If education is increased, that would make people more mobile, and may even end poverty. Even if some schools will allow children to attend without shoes, many will still not attend. Most children are ashamed or embarrassed to go without shoes. However, when they are given a pair of shoes, it boosts their confidence. This helps them want to attend school and contribute to their community. Shoes can make a big difference in someone’s life, and even change their world. Second, the organization provides eye care to those who are blind or visually impaired. Anytime someone buys TOMS eyewear, eye care is given to someone in need. Approximately 90% of people who are blind or visually impaired live in developing countries. In total, 285 million individuals are blind or visually impaired. However, with eye care, 80% of those cases can be corrected or prevented. Most people suffer from cataracts, which is the leading cause of blindness. Cataracts can be cured with just a 15-minute surgery, which is paid for when we buy TOMS eyewear.
As we enjoy our new sunglasses, people in other countries are receiving prescription eyewear and medical treatment which helps treat eye injuries and infections. When vision is restored, it gives individuals the opportunity to return to school or work. Adults can get financially stable and no longer require extra care. Of course we all know how important vision is, so giving someone the opportunity to see is a great feeling. There are many other ways to participate, not just buy buying the products, but to put your self in their “shoes” for a day. Lastly, TOMS also has a certain day out of the year to spread awareness of the way other people live. For example, on April 16, 2013, was “One day without shoes”. The purpose of this was for everyone to be barefoot for a day, just like children in other countries are everyday. Not only does it spread awareness, but also helps us to appreciate what we have.
Another event by TOMS is “World Sight Day” which was on October 10, 2013. This is when everyone wears his or her TOMS sunglasses, even inside, just to show you were apart of something bigger than yourself. Both events are great ways to show your support, and many more are on their way. Anything can be changed, even obstacles that seem impossible to overcome. Who knew that a pair of shoes could help end poverty? If everyone gave his or her part, the world could make a drastic change. Just because something seems to hard, doesn’t mean it cannot be achieved, it can be as simple as a pair of shoes or an eye exam.