In this world, there is so much need, so much pain, so much despair. It is easy to look the other way, to not get involved, to stay focused on you.
That’s what most people do. I know I’m guilty of it. I don’t even like watching the news because it depresses me.
But that’s real life. I might not want to see it, but other people are living it.
But while most people ignore it, there are the few that see the need that exists in this world, and they decide to do something about it. They want to make a change. Rather, they want to change the world.
My friend, Alex, is one of those people.
I have only known Alexander Torrey for 6 weeks, but in those 6 weeks, I can safely say that he has changed my life.
Alex is a visionary. An entrepreneur with a vision to change the world… One t-shirt at a time.
Well, Alex and his brother, Jonathan, started a clothing company called umano, and for every t-shirt they sell, they give a backpack full of school supplies to kids in need. And these very kids in need are the ones who draw the “PocketArt” for the shirts. Check out their story here.
And we aren’t just talking about any kids in need. We are talking about the most in-need kids in the most forgotten about schools. We are talking about the schools you have to take a two-hour donkey ride to get to because there are no paved roads. We are talking about a classroom of twenty students sharing one pencil.
See, Alex and Jonathan didn’t just start this company so it would have a good “image.” They didn’t create this business model because “conscious capitalism” is “in” right now. No, they truly want to help those who need the most help.
They want to empower these kids.
I have had the honor of witnessing a small portion of Alex’s very unique, very exciting journey. His time here in LA has been pretty extraordinary, full of incredible opportunities and developments. Let’s just say that when Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS, happened to meet Alex outside the TOMS flagship store on Abbott Kinney in Venice, he was so inspired by Alex’s story and the umano company vision, that he has taken Alex under his wing, is creating an entire TOMS/umano collaboration, is featuring Alex and the umano story in the TOMS documentary (coming out in 2014), and has invited the umano team on the next TOMS giving trip.
But the thing I have loved the most is seeing Alex’s heart – Alex has such a heart for these children and a passion to make a difference in their lives that is so transparent, so genuine, and so contagious that you can’t help but be inspired.
Alex told me about one child in particular that he met in Peru named Andrea, whose spirit and passion for life affected him so much that he left everything he had with her… even the shirt off his back.
Alex and Jonathan believe that every kid deserves a chance; it’s not about geography, color, or creed. They believe that better basic education gives kids the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty and create their own path to prosperity. I love their motto: “Don’t wait to start something that matters.”
|racerback tank with “elicoptero” PocketArt drawn by Claudio.|
Order a shirt like mine at www.umano.com and you, too, can become a part of a movement to change this world for the better… one t-shirt at a time.