Matt Asato, director of humanitarian aid for Buckner, fits a child with a new pair of TOMS shoes.
Matt Asato, director of humanitarian aid for Buckner, fits a child with a new pair of TOMS shoes.

Buckner Becomes TOMS Shoes Giving Partner, Launches Distribution in Guatemala

SAN JOSE PINULA, Guatemala — Buckner International held a TOMS Shoes distribution to children at the Buckner Community Transformation Center (CTC) here March 22. It is the first-ever distribution of shoes by Buckner through TOMS internationally-recognized One for One™ model.

Matt Asato, Buckner International’s director of humanitarian aid, said the CTC distribution, held in conjunction with Buckner Guatemala, will provide “health and opportunity” for area children.

“This will mean so much for the children of San Jose Pinula,” he said. “New TOMS Shoes will help children maintain their health and pursue the opportunity a new pair of shoes offers them, such as going to school.”

Roberto Tejada, Buckner Guatemala’s CTC director, agreed. “Because Buckner is now a TOMS Giving Partner, this gift of shoes means we have a partner that understands how meeting the physical needs of children is so important to the population we serve. This is not just a distribution of shoes. This is a distribution of hope.”

According to Asato, the San Jose Pinula distribution is part of an initial shipment of shoes by TOMS to Buckner Guatemala, “and the first of an ongoing series of shoe distributions to children served by Buckner Guatemala.

“It’s important to emphasize that TOMS’ commitment to the children in these communities is not a one-time giving opportunity, but a commitment to continue to provide access to shoes as children age up — and out — of their shoes.”

“Sustainable and responsible giving is integral to TOMS giving philosophy,” said Sebastian Fries, the Chief Giving Officer for TOMS. “We work to establish long-term partnerships with humanitarian organizations, like Buckner, that can provide shoes to children as a critical component of their health, education and community development programs.  This allows TOMS Shoes to have a greater impact on the health and well-being of children and their communities.”

About the TOMS One for OneTM model: With every pair purchased, TOMS will give a new pair of new shoes to a child in need. To date, TOMS has given more than two million pairs of new shoes to children in need around the world. TOMS’ Giving Partners are made up of humanitarian organizations already established and working in the countries in which TOMS gives. www.toms.com

About Buckner: For more than 133 years, Buckner has been transforming lives through a hands-on approach, serving the most vulnerable from the beginning to the ending of life. Buckner is one of the oldest and most unique faith-based social service organizations of its kind, serving more than 450,000 people each year in the United States and 18 countries worldwide. www.buckner.org