I'll stop fangirling in a sec, but I was most captivated by learning about their new bag line. True to their one-for-one model, for each TOMS bag purchase, they're helping support safe births around the world by giving safe birth kits and training to birth attendants in areas of the world where infection due to unsanitary birth conditions causes death of mothers and newborns. Those of you who have been around the blog might know why this particular cause is meaningful for me. My grandmother was a nurse midwife in the 40's and 50's, doing exactly what TOMS is doing. She started as a nurse midwife with the Frontier Nursing Service in Kentucky, where nurse midwives would visit patients on horseback, which was the only way to access those folks living in the hundreds of square miles of backwoods country (if you've watched "Call The Midwife," just picture that, except instead of bikes, they rode horses, and instead of London streets, they covered hundreds of miles of woods). Because of her experience in Kentucky and her public health degree, she was hired by the Territory of Alaska to construct a plan to combat the high rate of mother and infant mortality that was occurring during birth in the Alaska native villages. She trained native women all across Alaska on safe birth practices, taking small planes, boats, and dog sleds to get to them, and she wrote and illustrate dozens of guides which were published by the Alaska State Health Department which were distributed to villages across Alaska, outlining safe practices for birthing babies.
Alaska and Kentucky now have access to 1st world medical facilities, but TOMS is helping do exactly what my grandma did, in areas of the world which still desperately need clean and educated birthing, for the health of both the mothers and babies. I think my grandma would be stoked (can grandparents be "stoked"?) to hear about the work TOMS is doing for women around the world. Also, it just happens to be my Grandma's birthday today! Happy 94th birthday, Grandma!
At TxSC, TOMS generously gifted every attendee one of their new waxed canvas backpacks, and now I'm giving one away to one of you! Stay tuned for the giveaway later today! And the winners of the ModCloth, ONA, and Blog(Design)Love 2.0 giveaways are below! Congrats ladies!