Posted on May 02 2012
We love hearing about great Southern California businesses. It's always exciting to learn about people and businesses right here who not only make great products, but continue to grow and make a positive impact in the world. TOMS, based in Santa Monica, is an incredible example of a business whose owner strives to do more with his products. While most of the population is familiar with the company's one for one shoe program, TOMS has introduced a new initiative to bring basic needs to those less fortunate around the world. Optometry visits, eyeglasses and contacts are everyday essentials for many OC residents, but the gift of sight is often an out of reach luxury in developing countries - over 250 million visually impaired people live in developing countries. Of this staggering number, more than 18 million children suffer from blindness or impaired vision. If you think it's difficult to read a freeway sign or decipher the coffee menu, these children may never afford the opportunity to learn to read either. In addition, families in developing counties are more likely to pay for eye care for male family members, leaving many women blind or visually impaired. These women may never learn to read or ever receive medical attention for their condition. Faced with this overwhelming information, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie decided to take a stand and affect change where he could. With the many needs people face in developing countries, Mycoskie is working to combat one at a time by turning TOMS into a One for One company, and not just a shoe company. For each pair of TOMS glasses purchased, the company will provide sight for one person. Sight can mean medical treatment, prescription glasses or sight-saving surgery - whichever is needed to ensure that each person treated is provided a better life through the gift of sight. To learn more about this amazing OC business, or to purchase your own pair of glasses and provide sight for a person in need both in developing countries and right here in the United States, visit toms.com/eyewear. Editor's note: An earlier edition of this article stated TOMS was based in Orange County, Calif. TOMS is based in Santa Monica.