Monday, December 5, 2011

start something that matters [giveaway]

Mr. Allen and I definitely have a favorite shoe. We love one more than all the others. It's comfortable, it's affordable, and better than anything else - for every pair we purchase, a pair is given to a child in need.

You probably already know about TOMS One for One campaign, where they give a pair of shoes to a child without for every pair that is purchased. But if you don't, please read about it here.

I got my first pair in college, when TOMS was pretty new. I had won a pair in a contest and instantly fell in love with their versatility, durability [not that I haven't wore through a few pair from over-loving them], and their brilliant cause. [Seriously, I'm not getting paid to say this. This is how I feel.]

Mr. Allen and I used our wedding day as another way to spread the TOMS story and provide a few more children with shoes. Here is a picture of our wedding party in their new TOMS.

And here is a picture of our collection.
[We each have a few pairs. And even Baby will have one as soon as she's here. Aren't those little ones cute?!]

We love TOMS.

So, the moral of my story, or the point at least, is that a few weeks ago, as I was meandering about on facebook, I saw that TOMS was offering bloggers the opportunity to review Blake Mycoskie's new book Start Something That Matters. Blake is the founder of TOMS and Chief Shoe Giver, and he wrote this book with the aspiration of sharing his story in order to inspire others to "start something that matters" - a business or objective with a greater cause.

I was chosen as one of the bloggers to review the book, which means they provided me with two copies of the book, one to read and one to give away to my readers! [That's you!] I am actually going to do one better and give away both copies, not because I didn't enjoy it, but because I want to get more copies out there and "pass it on."

Here's my thoughts on the book, my honest review:

The book was not extremely well-written, not because of grammar or any problems of that sort, but because stories jumped quickly from one to the other. I think, honestly, it was a result of the author wanting to share a lot of examples of how a business or objective pursued for a greater cause can really make a difference. And I loved reading about all the different companies (large and small) that are truly making a difference in the world, even with small steps. 
Blake shares the story of TOMS shoes and how through trials, he and his team have made a successful business than is for-profit, which guarantees that they can continue to do "shoe drops" (when they distribute the shoes to the children in need) on a regular basis and without waiting for the next order. His story is inspirational, one of overcoming obstacles and thriving in a world that says looking out for "number one" is most important. I really enjoyed reading more about the TOMS story and some of the people who have helped TOMS become the great organization it is today. 
Some of the other organization he focuses on in the book are chartity:water, FEED projects, and method, among others. Reading more about these companies helps me to see the need for business men and women to step outside of the box and work for something bigger than themselves.
Blake shares a ton of practical advice for readers to take the areas in which they feel challenged most, overcome whatever obstacles stand in their way, and really start something (anything) that matters. One of my favorite thoughts from the book was about clarity. So often we want every step of our future to be completely clear and well-planned before we want to pursue it. His words challenged me to see how nothing will ever be clear entirely until I'm in the moment. I need to fall in love with an idea, no matter how confusing and cloudy it may be, and follow it boldly because in the midst is where I will understand how it is going to work out.

So, there you have it. I hope you'll enter my giveaway and win a copy for yourself. I don't think you need to be on the verge of starting a business or anything to benefit from this book. I was challenged to make sure the daily activities and pursuits I have in my life already are being done not for my benefit, but for others. I think bloggers could really benefit from these challenges in how they view their blog as a possible ministry to help and encourage others.

To enter the giveaway, there are 2 easy steps:
#1 - Become a little baby mama bear follower.
#2 - Comment on this post.

For additional entries into the drawing you can do one or more of the following (one entry per item):
- "like" TOMS on facebook
- follow me on twitter @mrsalyssaallen
- tweet, facebook, or blog about this giveaway

Come back and leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete.

The giveaway will be open until 11:59 pm December 11th, then I will announce the winners and ship the books! Good luck. I can't wait to share this book with you!


  1. I'm already a follower and I would love to win this book!

  2. I already follow you on Twitter and tweeted about the giveaway! :)

  3. Hi there, I am your newest GFC follower from the hop, stopping by from Couponing From Florida to Michigan. I would love a follow back.

    Happy Monday

  4. best friend :] i love that you are giving away both. what a babe.

  5. Hi, new follower via The Sasse Life(Sunday social)

  6. i facebooked about the contest! #1 blogger by the end of the year?? Done. :)