“There is no TOM. We like to say that everyone is TOM, because what TOMS stands for, it’s a derivative of the word ‘tomorrow’ and the idea that we have a better tomorrow.
When we started the project, it was called the Shoes for Tomorrow Project. Then it was just Shoes for Tomorrow. Then that didn’t fit on the label, so I just named it TOMS. You buy a pair today, we give a pair away tomorrow. And collectively, everyone who buys a pair, everyone who works here, everyone who’s an intern, we all are TOMS. So that’s who TOM is.”—Blake Mycoskie, on his shoe company’s name
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them."
I firmly believe this. Which is why I’ve come to the realization that I cannot live purely for myself but rather for others. I think it is not only my purpose but my vocation to help other people and also to spread awareness about those people who so badly need the help.
As of right now, I’ve decided to apply to universities on the West coast near Santa Monica, CA;specifically big universities in LA. I want to go to college in CA because I eventually want to live and work in Santa Monica with TOMS Shoes, but it has also been a dream of mine to live in CA, even for just a short time. I want to major in journalism and the humanities. Writing is my passion and I have always been fascinated with people in general, the ay they live, relationships, and societal differences.
After I apply to multiple school there and get accepted to into one, I’m going to defer attendance for a year. So after high school when all my friends will be starting their first year of college, I’ll be taking a gap year to learn and grow. During my gap year, I want to go on a TOMS shoe drop, which will be very hard to accomplish, but I still want to be a part of something amazing like that. Doing anything for TOMS Shoes is my biggest dream, but i also want to help people in any way accessible. So I plan on working with the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry in either Camden, NJ or Wilmington, DE. The Franciscan Volunteer Ministry(FVM) is a full time missionary program where I would be participating in things like soup kitchens, youth and elderly ministry, immigrant ministry, teaching English as both a first and second language, Educating and counseling prisoners, counseling those in the hospitals, counseling those afflicted with HIV, and so many more amazing tasks. I understand that TOMS Shoes has gotten so big that it is unlikely that I will be able to land a job or internship there, but that is exactly the type of thing I want to do and I believe that working with FVM will help me grow and will also help me towards a future with TOMS.
I know this all seems so unrealistic and so far away, but I’m going to be graduating in two years and I want to do something worth while with my life. I truly believe helping others and spreading the word about the help people so desperately need is my calling. I have always been a dreamer, but even more so, I have always been persistent. If I want something, it will be the only thing I think about until I achieve it. Therefore, I will keep dreaming and keep thinking until I achieve my dreams and fulfill my vocation.
My Grandparents just left town. I’m so sad, even though I’ll see them again in July. I just love being around them. They’re the kind of people I aspire to be. They are so accepting and beautiful. They got pregnant with my dad and that’s why they got married so fast, but they really love each other. I love that they experienced that, because I think that’s part of what makes them so perfect. Imperfection truly is beauty. Even at after being married 52 years, they still act like a new married couple. My grandfather, who we call Papa, still says how beautiful my grandma is. we were walking into dinner today and she asked him if her hair looked okay and he said she looked beautiful…my heart melted. He looks at her with the utmost love and respect. They are such amazing people. They married young and fast and had to deal with judgment because of why it was so fast, but they really love each other so it didn’t matter. They are the kind of people who don’t hide things to maintain their pride either, they know we all know this about them and they don’t mind. They laugh about it. They say they don’t regret a thing. They are also the strongest people I know. Seven years ago, their second child died at 43 years old of an unexpected heart attack, and they experienced more pain then i could ever imagine. No parent should have to bury their child. They are so strong; strong enough to take care of planning the funeral but also strong enough to just cry. They hardly cry about it anymore, but when my grandmother does, my Papa holds her hand. That’s love. They could have just let their daughter-in-law drift from them after my uncle’s death, but they are so good to her. They are always at her house helping her fix things and clean, they always have her over for dinner and they just treat her like their own child. They are wonderful. Just the other year, their youngest son was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and is really suffering. They have told my dad they don’t know if they can live through burying a second child, but they have stayed so strong and are getting my uncle the best medical attention they possibly could. This year, my dad had a couple of heart attacks and I can’t even imagine how scared they were. They are so strong though, they offer all the help in the world. They have experienced so much pain in their lives, but they are such positive people, that they stay strong and happy. They make each and everyone of my siblings and I feel beautiful and special. They all say how smart and pretty we are all and they just look at us with so much love. I hope to find someone who loves me as much as my Papa loves my Grandma. I hope I can inherit a fraction of their strength and modesty. I hope I can be as content in life as they are. I hope to one day be as accepting and open as them. I hope that I can be half as good of a person as them. I hope to be like my beautiful grandparents someday.