With the economy as it is, spending money wisely is more important than ever. Gift giving is a wonderful thing – and should continue to be – but we need to be conscious of how we spend our dollars. Before you tear open your wallet, ask yourself: Will this gift truly be appreciated?

This question was at the forefront of my mind earlier this afternoon when I opened up a holiday gift from TOMS Shoes. The gift included a certificate good for a free pair of shoes on their site, and I was elated to see a huge array of fun styles for not only gals – but men and kids as well. (Check out the Red Wrap Boot at left…it was my favorite style, but there’s tons of others you may like as well!)

The story of TOMS Shoes is a fascinating one. Founder Blake Mycoskie was in Argentina several years back and took a liking to the traditional shoes of the South American country. On a whim of sorts, Mycoskie decided to start a shoe company that brought the unique footwear to an international market.

Humanitarian aims aside (for every shoe you buy, TOMS donates one to a child in need), the things are actually completely vegan and incredibly comfortable. And on top of that, they’re affordable! (Many styles are around $40).

Right now, 1,000,000 men, women and children are suffering from PODOCONIOSIS in Ethiopia. Podoconiosis is a soil-transmitted disease caused by walking barefoot in silica-rich soil. Silica is ancient volcanic glass that penetrates the skin and makes its way into the lymphatic system. The feet and lower legs swell, open sores and ulcers develop, and infection sets in. But there is good news: PODOCONIOSIS IS 100% PREVENTABLE – all it takes is a pair of shoes. So help TOMS put shoes on children’s feet in Ethiopia to help prevent this disease.

TOMS just launched their Holiday Project this month and their goal is to donate 30,000 shoes to children in Ethiopia in 30 days. If you have a moment, please check out the video on YouTube – it’s quite powerful (and also shareable and embeddable if you have FaceBook, etc) :


In conjunction with this campaign, TOMS is offering one eBeautyDaily reader a free TOMS Shoes Holiday Gift Set, which includes a copy of the award-winning For Tomorrow – The TOMS Shoes Story film and a gift card for a pair of TOMS (up to $50 value, which covers all but the TOMS Wrap Boot). The giveaway begins today, and will end Dec. 24th. To enter, simply leave a comment with the most meaningful gift you’ve ever received – or given. Good luck – and happy holidays!!!