The Hero for Shoes | Teen Ink

The Hero for Shoes

May 8, 2018
By Alyssa2001 BRONZE, Saint Bernard, Louisiana
Alyssa2001 BRONZE, Saint Bernard, Louisiana
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Once upon a time, a man named Blake Mycoskie became a hero when he traveled to developing countries and delivered shoes to the impoverished, showing the traits of strength, generosity, and confidence throughout his life. This hero was born on August 26, 1976, in Arlington, Texas, and he grew up in a relatively average family that lived well. He attended James Martin High School in Austin, and then he went to perform undergraduate work at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Throughout his life, he owned a successful campus laundry service and directed several different movies, such as No Polo Widow. In 2006, however, Mycoskie's view of the world changed when he traveled to Argentina for vacation and witnessed the hardships the poor people faced there, such as children and families growing up with no shoes. In Argentina, children were required to wear shoes in order to attend school; therefore, the children were not being properly educated because they could not afford shoes, which inspired Mycoskie to start a business by providing shoes for the children. He started the business TOMS, which stands for “TOMorrow Shoes” since his goal was to provide a better future for the children by allowing them to attend school. He created this for-profit business that was sustainable and not reliant on donations. TOMS has provided over 60 million pairs of shoes to children since 2006 and is still sending out shoes to them today. Known for displaying the heroic traits of strength, generosity, and confidence, Blake Mycoskie portrays a modern day hero through his creation of TOMS because he shows his commitment to helping other countries who are not given the same opportunities as others have.


Blake Mycoskie shows his strength when he travels to Argentina for vacation and witnesses the children not wearing shoes, which are required for school. He shows his strength through giving back to the less fortunate countries with the creation of his business TOMS. After traveling to Argentina for vacation, Mycoskie yearned to make a difference on countries like Argentina since he wishes for them to have the same opportunities as Americans getting an education; however, the children are limited of opportunities because of the lack of shoes that are required to attend school. His wish is made possible through his previous success of owning a successful campus laundry service and directing several movies, which allows him to fund the business. After this triumph, this hero decides to donate his time and money to start a business called TOMS. The main purpose of TOMS is to provide shoes for the impoverished children who can not afford them, so they may have the opportunity of going to school and receiving an education. His ability to provide for these children gives them a chance for a bright future since they are able to receive education with the help of TOMS. Furthermore, the success of the business would not have been possible without his previous success of the laundry service and movie directing, which gives him the strength that is needed to help others who are less fortunate than him.


The heroic trait of generosity is displayed in Blake Mycoskie’s works when he starts the “One for One” program, and he also displays generosity when he travels to the developing countries to deliver the shoes to the children and families. He creates the “One for One” program which allows an individual who can afford a pair of shoes to buy a pair of TOMS shoes for himself or herself, and another pair of shoes is brought over to a developing country to be given to children and families. This program supplies TOMS with the shoes they send to the countries; therefore, Mycoskie makes sure he has enough shoes for everyone, even if he has to pay for some himself. Furthermore, the “One for One” program shows Mycoskie’s kindness of giving back to others when no one else tells him to perform these services. Also, Mycoskie travels to these countries himself to hand-deliver the shoes to the children and families, portraying the act of kindness. After the families receive their shoes, they are always grateful and show their gratitude by hugging Mycoskie, which motivates him to keep performing this generosity deed. Starting the “One for One” program to supply TOMS with shoes and seeing the families’ faces after delivering the shoes to them, Blake Mycoskie displays the perfect model of generosity through his works of kindness to the underprivileged families in other countries.


The shoe hero Blake Mycoskie portrays the trait of confidence when he starts other businesses after TOMS Shoes to provide the poor families living in less developed countries with proper eyewear to see and clean water for them to use. After the success of TOMS, Mycoskie becomes confident to create other businesses that he thinks will be just as successful as the TOMS Shoes business. This goal inspires him to create TOMS Eyewear that provides families, who can not afford glasses or surgery, with the proper medical treatment for them to see again. Mycoskie’s new business leads to the restoration of eyesight for over 400,000 individuals since 2011. Also, Mycoskie starts another business TOMS Roasting Company selling coffee to families who can afford the coffee and using the profit to supply fresh water to families who do not have access to this necessity, which is expressed through the slogan “Coffee for You, Water for All.” Mycoskie becomes confident and bold with these new businesses because of the success they are providing for the countries who have very little. He gains the confidence, needed to start his business, after watching the developing countries prosper because of his accomplishments. Since the businesses quickly become a big success, he earns his fame when he receives the Secretary of State’s 2009 Award of Corporate Excellence (ACE). Mycoskie’s work quickly makes him popular throughout the world. For example, he is featured in different magazines to express such admiration in his success. As a result of his success from TOMS Shoes, Blake Mycoskie portrays confidence while he chooses to start the businesses of TOMS Eyewear and TOMS Roasting Company after seeing how successful his first business becomes.


Overall, Blake Mycoskie portrays a modern day hero for displaying the traits of strength, generosity, and confidence through the impact of his business TOMS has over the developing countries that provides opportunities for less fortunate children and families. The start of Mycoskie’s strong work happens after he sees children without shoes, which are required for school. This incident inspires him to offer opportunities to children to receive an education, so he starts the TOMS business to provide shoes for children and families in need, which shows the trait of strength. Next, this hero displays generosity when he creates the “One for One” program that allows TOMS to supply children with the proper shoes. This program supplies the shoes that are needed for the business since TOMS is not reliant on donations; therefore, Mycoskie shows an act of kindness from Mycoskie when he delivers the shoes himself to the children and families. Lastly, confidence is portrayed through Mycoskie’s work by starting the businesses of TOMS Eyewear and TOMS Roasting Company. These businesses are created after he gains the confidence from his family, friends, and the success of his business TOMS. Blake Mycoskie’s passion of providing opportunities for everyone inspires young people today to include giving back in everything they do, and his continuous goal is to help make tomorrow better with the help of everyone.

The author's comments:

I felt inspired to write my essay about this hero because he has down such great things, which I hope do this one day.

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