It was Blake Mykosckie, founder of TOMS who greatly inspired me to do my social enterprise a few years ago. When I read an article about Blake, the seeds were sown. I love the one-for-one idea, and at Moeloco we also explain it as parallel giving because it’s an easy concept for people to understand.
Given the amount of suspicion that can exist with giving, like ‘where is my money going’ that sort of thing, we wanted people to relate to our giving model very easily hence we adopted this same idea. Maybe my love of shoes also lead me to choosing the shoes, and I was astounded at how many kids (300 million) in the world don’t have any, and the dreadful consequences this brings to them.
Like me, several businesses and individuals have been inspired by TOMS’ one-for-one giving concept. To date, the business has donated 35 million pairs of shoes in over 60 countries. Here are three other companies that are changing the world with the parallel giving concept.
1. Smile Squared
Dentists recommend that we change our toothbrushes every three months, but so many individuals across the globe lack basic oral hygiene because they are not privileged to own a toothbrush. Smile Squared is helping to improve smiles across the globe with their World Smiles initiative. Their aim is to distribute one million toothbrushes to children in need.
Visitors to https://smilesquared.com/ can help improve the oral hygiene of children in lesser developed countries by purchasing either an adult toothbrush or a child toothbrush. For every purchase made, the company gives a toothbrush to a child in need.
2. Warby Parker
Our eyes are the windows to the world and impaired vision can limit our activities severely. Warby Parker is a prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses brand that has also adopted the parallel giving concept. The company tallies the number of glasses sold and makes a monthly donation to their non-profit partners. The non-profit partners then train people in developing countries to perform basic eye exams and sell glasses to those in need at an affordable price.
Since the start of the program, the company has helped to train 18,001 men and women in 35 countries and distributed a million pairs of glasses to people in need. The glasses have helped increase productivity by 35 percent and monthly incomes by 20 percent. The overall economic impact of the million pairs of glasses is estimated at $200 million.
Many of us take electricity for granted. A flick of a switch and we have light to see what we are doing. Yet for many families around the world a kerosene lamp is their only source of light. Not only do kerosene lamps pose safety issues, but long term use of this light source can affect the eyes.
OneMillionLights.org has answered the call with their One Million Lights Shop. This a new business model disrupting the business world program by using the Energizer Solar Rechargeable Spotlight. For every light purchased, the One Million Lights Shop donates solar powered lanterns to families in need. Since its inception OneMillionLights.org has donated lights to families in Kenya, The Philippines, Haiti, Tanzania and Nicaragua.
It was poet and author, Maya Angelo who said, “We can all be a rainbow in someone’s cloud” and with the support of consumers just like you, these businesses are being the rainbow for millions across the world. It is a wonderful feeling knowing that your purchase is not only meeting your needs but is also bringing a smile to another person’s face. Will you become a rainbow in someone’s cloud today?
What do you think about these inspiring organisations? Do you know of other businesses working to change the world?
We’d love to hear about them! And of course if you think your friends would find this interesting please share and help us spread the world and leave more positive footprints.