Not only is the United States our home, it’s a place where we give. Known as a land of opportunity, it’s also a place of unique economic challenges and diverse needs. And recently we hit the road to document some of the giving we’re doing in our own communities, with our partners and for our neighbors.
SHOE GIVING PARTNER OVERVIEW: SAVE THE CHILDREN, UNITED STATES
Committed to breaking the cycle of poverty and helping all children succeed in school and life, Save the Children’s U.S. programs reached 240,000 kids last year.
SHOE GIVING STORY: JOEY, 11, EASTERN KENTUCKY
Joey is in the sixth grade and dreams of becoming a professional basketball player. He knows that becoming a pro ballplayer won’t be easy and will take hard work, but he’s willing to practice every day on his rebounds, assists and free throws. He smiles shyly and quietly says, “Sometimes, things are not easy, but you have to give it your all.” This is also true of life in his hometown, which is located in one of the most impoverished counties in the United States.
But it’s also a place where TOMS Giving Partner Save the Children distributes new shoes to children through its Healthy Choices program. After receiving his new TOMS Sports Shoes, Joey is excited to hit the court and practice his game. He imagines he’s making the winning shot as the buzzer sounds, down by one against the New York Knicks: “I take the ball down the court…I get the ball in the corner and I shoot it just in time. I make it, and the crowd goes wild.”
SIGHT GIVING PARTNER OVERVIEW: HELEN KELLER INTERNATIONAL, UNITED STATES
Since 1994, Helen Keller International’s ChildSight® program has provided free eye exams for more than 1.5 million U.S. students and free eyeglasses for more than 200,000 of these children.
SIGHT GIVING STORY: SAGONIE, 14, BRONX, NEW YORK
Sagnonie most enjoys the infectious and motivated attitude at Saint Ignatius School, a scholarship-based private school for low-income students living in the South Bronx. “All of the teachers really care here,” the seventh grader says. At school, Sagonie and his peers work hard through a rigorous curriculum that prepares students for high school. However, learning can be tough when you can’t see the board or focus on your reading, something Sagonie experienced after his old glasses broke during a game of dodgeball with friends.
Sight Giving Partner Helen Keller International’s ChildSight® program provides eye exams and, with the support of TOMS Eyewear purchases, prescription glasses to students in underserved communities. After receiving his new glasses, Sagonie was looking forward to reading more, playing baseball with his friends and exploring New York City. “Living here, everything is eye-popping…like the amazing views like the Empire State Building and stuff like that. It’s like nothing you’re used to or ever seen.”