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Nearly 300 million people worldwide do not have shoes. For many of these people, this means no school or work, no escape from poverty or illness, and no hope for the future.

When learning this, we asked, how can we use our creativity to help make a difference?

Paint Soles for Souls is a fun event that enables you to help others while tapping into your inner artist or creative. Our team recently tackled this opportunity by purchasing a selection of TOMS shoes to decorate, add a personal touch, and look to foster pride and excitement in those that wear them.

We spoke to a few team members to see what their thoughts were on this inspiring project:

What was the inspiration behind your TOMS shoe design?

My inspiration goes back to the culture and art that I grew up with in India. The paisley is a very commonly used motif in Indian art and clothing. It is universally worn by both men and women.

 Meera Bahukutumbi, Senior Interior Designer

Meera Bahukutumbi, Senior Interior Designer.

I was hoping to put a smile on someone’s face, so I made a silly design for the shoes.

 Vincent Buzzi, Site Laborer

What did you enjoy most about participating in the Paint Soles for Souls event?

I most enjoyed working side by side with all my friends and co-workers and was great to feel a part of a group that was so enthusiastic about doing this and knowing that this would help somebody get warm this winter!

 Meera Bahukutumbi, Senior Interior Designer

The opportunity to provide a fun pair of sneakers for someone in need!

 Vincent Buzzi, Site Laborer

For distribution, the completed shoes have been sent to The Hoboken Shelter, a non-profit organization. Additionally, TOMS will donate a pair of shoes through their One-for-One Program.

Our team is proud to have experienced how great it can feel to make a difference!