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SMC TOMS club hosts first annual TOMS Day Out

| Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Outgoing Saint Mary’s TOMS club president Nora Clougherty will run the first annual TOMS Day Out on Saint Mary’s campus this Thursday.

The TOMS company, through its “One for One” business model, helps to give a new pair of shoes to the poor in third world countries every time a pair of its shoes is purchased. When TOMS eyewear is purchased, part of the profit goes to help restore sight to those who are poor. TOMS tote bags are a new addition to the “One for One” organization. Every time one is sold, a new bag, along with a safe home birth kit, is given to a pregnant mother in need of one.

TOMS Day Out is an event that invites everybody on campus to wear their TOMS apparel if they have any. Clougherty said her goal for this event is to help people see the impact they have made by purchasing TOMS merchandise.

“I hope to make people understand that something as simple as purchasing shoes can impact the world,” dhe said. “You’re able to see that not only is it someone with a pair of shoes walking by, it’s another kid with a pair of shoes walking by.”

Clougherty started the Saint Mary’s TOMS club last year in hopes of bringing her passion to life on campus.

“I was just messing around their website one day, and I noticed a tab that said campus involvement,” she said. “When I clicked on it, I noticed there was no Notre Dame [chapter] or saint Mary’s,” Clougherty said. “I just really wanted to take something that I loved so much and bring it to Saint Mary’s.”

Ever since, Clougherty has been devoted to getting more people aware of and involved with the TOMS mission. After she graduates, Clougherty will pass on presidency of the club to sophomore Emerald Blankenship.

“Emerald is clearly passionate about TOMS, and she’s been extremely helpful with many of the TOMS events that we have had this year,” Clougherty said. “She’s just as passionate, if not more passionate than I am about TOMS.”

Clougherty recalls the Skype session that the club had with TOMS founder and CEO Blake Mycoskie.

“That was the most inspiring event for me ever,” she said. “It still baffles me that we were the ones chosen.”

Clougherty said she hopes the club will expand beyond Saint Mary’s.

“I hope it grows into a bigger club here at Saint Mary’s. I hope that eventually everyone on campus is wearing them on TOMS Day Out in the future,” Clougherty said. “I hope too that it grows into Notre Dame.”

Freshman club member Liana O’Grady said TOMS is great way to implement change because people can see the change they make everywhere they go.

“TOMS is such a big organization,” O’Grady said. “It’s nice to see that it can have such a huge effect on our small Saint Mary’s campus.”

O’Grady recalled the effect of giving simple T-shirts to children on a mission trip that she has recently taken to Uganda.

“I can imagine the same look on the faces of the kids who receive a pair of shoes from TOMS,” O’Grady said. “It’ll be great to see the number of shoes that have been donated just by girls on our campus during TOMS Day Out.”

Senior club member Claire Boyd said the club overall has made a positive impact in her time at Saint Mary’s.

“It helped to open my eyes to different world issues going on today,” Boyd said. “It has made me more aware of … business companies that have a give-back model such as TOMS. I hope other companies can use the same give-back model that TOMS has.”

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