'Tis the season of giving! And luckily for Us, that's Toms founder Blake Mycoskie's area of expertise.
Mycoskie, 39, is the man behind Toms' one-for-one business model, which means that every time you buy a pair of Toms shoes, someone in need gets a pair, too. (Fact: With its 10th anniversary coming up, Toms has provided more than 50 million shoes to people in need. Not to mention 250,000 weeks' worth of safe water and 360,000 sight restorations.)
But Mycoskie's generous spirit doesn't end with his celeb-adored company. (Charlize Theron's Africa Outreach Project, for one, has partnered with the brand.) He also has a plan for gifting with care for the holidays.
Read on for tips from Mycoskie on gifting with meaning, this season and all year round.
Give a Gift That Gives
"Giving feels good, and for me, it feels even better when the gift I give is thoughtful, personal and something that I know has a great message behind it," Mycoskie tells Us Weekly. A few of his suggestions: "Blankets are a great gift of warmth and comfort — I love the ones by Give Perf. They are beautifully made and work with Habitat for Humanity. Artisan home goods by Rose & Fitzgerald — like the wood trays handmade in Uganda — have such a story to tell. With gifts like these, you are going to make someone smile, and also help someone in need. There is nothing better than that."
Kind Acts Are Gifts, Too
"Everyone can live 'for one another,' and by that I mean giving back doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be a simple gesture of kindness added to your daily routine," Toms' chief shoe giver says. "Once you make a conscious attempt to pledge your life in 2016 'for one another,' opportunities to help other people in some way will make themselves available to you."
And while Mycoskie may travel the world giving "gives," you don't need a passport to get the job done. "Think about incorporating a give into everything you do. Maybe your holiday party has a charitable component, or your child’s birthday or holiday party has a moment where everyone takes part in giving back in some way," he suggests. "There are so many options. You just need an open mind, and the right ideas will come to you!"
The Gift Should Feel Special to You
Mycoskie believes that "the best gifts are the ones that have a story behind them and have a personal touch that means something special to both people, the giver and the receiver. It’s not about the money you spend or the size of the gift. If you can give a gift that can truly make a difference in someone’s life, there is no better way to live for one another." He adds, "Toms slippers are perfect for that, wink, wink!"