CRESTVIEW — Yvonne Wood wants to give needy children abroad something many people take for granted: shoes on their feet.
The military spouse and mother of two seeks votes so she and others may provide footwear on behalf of TOMS Shoes, a charitable retailer.
The company, which donates a pair of shoes for each pair it sells, will send its top 50 “Ticket to Give” candidates to deliver new shoes to children abroad. The company — which has sent volunteers to Honduras, Argentina and Peru — reportedly has donated more than 2 million pairs of new shoes.
Wood hopes she’s among this year’s volunteers and humanitarian organizations aiding the effort.
"This is something I really want to be a part of," she said. "It would be an honor to work with them."
Voting is underway and will end at midnight April 11, Wood said. You can vote for Wood’s entry at bit.ly/YmtpRu.
So far, 298 voters have supported Wood’s entry, and the top candidate has 2,348 votes, as of press deadline.
"Right now, I am not in the top 50, but there is still time left," she said.
This will be no vacation getaway, the contest’s website, toms.com/ticket-to-give, states. Winners will take long bus rides on curvy roads and must kneel on concrete surfaces while placing shoes on needy children’s feet.
The trips will take place between July and December. Five groups of 10 will visit one of the countries for a week. An official announcement regarding winners and locations will be made in late April, according to the company’s website.
A giving habit
Regardless of the election’s outcome, Wood wants to continue spreading the word about the charitable shoe company, which has stores in Fort Walton Beach, Destin and at toms.com.
"They don't advertise; they really go by word of mouth,” she said.
Supporting charitable causes is nothing new for Wood.
"I have been involved with fundraising from the American Cancer Society; I have also worked for the Fisher House (Foundation)," Wood said. The foundation provides housing so families can be near a military member receiving hospital care.
While working with the organization, Wood recognized her calling to work with non-profit organizations.
"It has opened my eyes," she said. "In the future I want to continue to work with non-profit organizations."
“I know, without a doubt, that non-profit work is my destiny,” her “Ticket to Give” profile reads. “I have never had the opportunity to participate in something so amazing.
“Please help make it my first!”
Want to participate?
See bit.ly/YmtpRu to vote for Crestview resident Yvonne Wood’s entry to deliver footwear to needy children in the TOMS Shoes “Ticket to Give” contest.
Facebook users can follow Wood's "Ticket to Destiny" group at http://on.fb.me/ZE8J9k.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.