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TOMS Helps Syrian Children Stay Warm This Winter

Hamed and his sister Rania carry winter kits they just received from UNICEF in Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan. They have been living in the camp with their parents and eight siblings since July 2012. © UNICEF/Jordan-2013/Noorani.

Hamed and his sister Rania carry winter kits they just received from UNICEF in Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan. They have been living in the camp with their parents and eight siblings since July 2012. © UNICEF/Jordan-2013/Noorani.

More than 5.5 million children have been affected by the conflict in Syria, which is now well into its third year. Over 1 million of these children and their families had to flee their homes. Many are unprepared for the winter ahead.

TOMS, founded in 2006, is known for its casual shoes and commitment to giving and innovation. For every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, a pair of new shoes is given to a child in need. This winter, TOMS is providing boots for winter kits that UNICEF is distributing to Syrian children. We asked Sebastian Fries, TOMS Chief Giving Officer, to tell us more about the partnership.

Why did TOMS decide to be part of this effort to help Syrian children?

TOMS is committed to supporting children in need and providing shoes in the regions where they are needed most. With winter fast approaching, we’re honored to partner with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to provide Winter Boots to children living in refugee camps in Iraq and Lebanon. The boots are part of a larger, region-wide effort TOMS is undertaking with Giving Partners to help improve the lives of Syrian children in refugee camps and communities affected by the crisis.

Can you tell us more about the boots that TOMS is giving?

In late 2012, TOMS expanded its Giving Shoe offerings to include a Winter Boot. Based on feedback from our Giving Partners, we developed a heavy-duty, nylon-upper boot to serve children living in colder climates. A thick, waterproof sole, warm lining and easy-to-adjust straps allow it to stand up to snowy weather. The TOMS Winter Boot is currently being given in Eastern Europe, South America, China and the United States.

What’s the connection between the TOMS mission and UNICEF’s work?

TOMS partners with health and humanitarian organizations (we call them our Giving Partners) around the world to create positive change in communities. Through our One for One model, we’re in business to help improve lives. Through our Giving Partners, we work to give new shoes to children in need responsibly and with the greatest impact possible. TOMS and our Giving Partners work together to develop a strategy that supports integrating new shoes as part of a larger health, nutrition, education or humanitarian response programs.

We know that today, our community is counting on us to go beyond giving and to really make a positive impact on people and business everywhere. In partnership with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, we can make a greater impact in making the world better for kids.

To learn more, visit childrenofsyria.info.

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