While I appreciate the author's good intentions of making a positive impact via private initiatives and his passion; I can hardly endorse a very broken, irresponsible and oxymoronic model of "profitable-charity" that has done much harm and destruction under the guise of altruism and responsible consumerism.
Let me explain...
Business model: Launch a private initiative by sourcing production from a cheap, labor rich country; market those goods to first-world consumers under the banner of serving the poor and a 1-to-1 model of putting shoes on the feet of impoverished children - therein saving their lives; lastly, market your company as if it is not-for-profit - unmotivated by margins - strictly focused on saving lives and addressing poverty in the 21st century.
Why this is flawed: This is an initiative that has a great marketing strategy, coupled with an incredibly flawed and destructive business model. While selling merchandise (shoes in this case) that are extremely marked up, under the guise of serving the poor in another country, TOM's has convinced its consumers that you can be both trendy and a responsible consumer. The only problem is that TOM's built its model on a marketing plan aka what would sell (developed world), as opposed to a responsible understanding of the need (the developing world). Forced to honor its commitment to it's 1-to-1 policy, TOM's has dumped thousands of its shoes on the open markets of developing countries, driving hundreds of native companies out of business. In fact, TOM's has most often done far more harm than good, and all while making a tremendous amount of profit as a high-margin enterprise.
A different approach: Blake should consider purchasing his shoes and other resources from the companies that he is driving out of business. While American shoes may be made of canvas in Argentina, most models that are distributed in developing countries are sourced in countries like China and Vietnam; therefore, he should present transparency in his supply chains, and seek to transfer his purchasing (and profits) to companies that are sourced in the very countries where he is distributing shoes - rather than undermining the few thriving private initiatives in the very regions he seeks to help. This model of charity (or in this case, "profitable charity") is BROKEN, and the fact that Blake has found a way to fund it through a marketing campaign that cloaks his enterprise as a "responsible, informed, alternative approach to consumerism" is detestable.
But enjoy the book, drink the kool-aid, and live on a yacht if it makes you feel more responsible - apparently it's the cool thing to do.