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FORD joins Toms Shoes’ crusade: Help improve quality of life for thousands of children


DEARBORN, Mich.- Ford Motor Company is making tracks to more than 25 cities with TOMS Shoes and Airstream International Travel Trailers as part of a spring tour aimed at helping disadvantaged children step into better, healthier lives.

TOMS is donating a pair of shoes to a needy child for each pair it sells. TOMS’s shoe samples as well as information about the program and the company will be packed into an Airstream trailer – and towed cross-country by an all-new 2007 Ford Expedition.

“American icons Ford and Airstream are recognized for helping people explore and discover new territories, and this groundbreaking connection with TOMS Shoes seemed only natural,” said Michael Laquere, Ford SUV communications manager. “The Ford Expedition is comfortable, flexible and capable, making it the perfect fit for long-haul journeys that involve both moving people and a lot of gear.”

TOMS was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie out of a commitment to produce stylish, comfortable and practical footwear while improving the lives of children.

In 2006, while vacationing in Argentina, Mycoskie volunteered in poverty-stricken areas and was disheartened to see the severity of the poor living conditions. Each day men, women and children have to walk miles for fresh water with no shoes, leaving their feet injured and infected. Also, children without shoes are denied schooling.

“I was inspired by a traditional Argentine shoe and challenged by a continent’s poverty and heath issues, so I created TOMS with a singular mission: To make life more comfortable,” says Mycoskie. “I wanted to personally share my ‘fashion with a conscious’ concept with our retail partners and consumers, so we’re taking our TOMS and our ‘Shoes for Tomorrow’ program on the road, with help from Ford and Airstream.”

Earlier this year, Ford and Airstream also teamed up to reveal the Ford Airstream Concept, a futuristic crossover vehicle powered by powered by a new plug-in hydrogen hybrid fuel cell – called HySeries Drive – that operates under electric power at all times and delivers the combined city/highway equivalent fuel economy of 41 miles per gallon. Media hailed the Ford Airstream Concept as a bold, thought-leading crossover for the 21st century following its reveal at the 2007 North American International Auto Show.

Also internationally recognized and appearing on the feet of Hollywood’s elite, TOMS has already given away more than 10,000 pairs to underprivileged children in Argentina and hopes to do more after the spring tour.

TOMS is instant hit not only for its philanthropic mission but for its style. The fashionable canvas shoe comes in a variety of colors and patterns, inspired by the traditional rope-soled, Argentine shoe.

“This really is a dream come true for me. To travel cross-country spreading the message of TOMS, and to do it with such style, is wonderful. At such an early stage in our company, we feel incredibly blessed to have such blue chip partners like Ford and Airstream, and to know 10,000 more children will have shoes once we finish makes each mile traveled that much more rewarding,” says Mycoskie.


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