Toby Tanser

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Toby Tanser
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Born in Iceland, Toby Tanser is a philanthropist, writer, and accomplished runner—with over 160 race victories around the world, including 42 New York Road Runners club races—coach, and race director. He is also the founder of Shoe4Africa, which he started as a professional runner after he attended running training camps in Kenya. After that, he sent back shoes to Kenyan athletes when he has returned to the US. Shoe4Africa started out with him as the only staff. His latest and greatest project is trying to build in Sahara Africa’s largest public children’s hospital.


Why Toby Tanser is Extraordinary

Toby shows us that we can all help people in need simply by first making the decision to do something about their plight and by following it through with the determination to actually saw it done.

Shoe4Africa’s Vision and Mission

Toby Tanser founded Shoe4Africa, which is a 100% not for profit organization in 1995, with a vision and focus on health and education, AIDS Awareness Programs, women empowerment, and peace. Their goal is building schools in addition to raising money to fund the first children’s Hospital in Sahara—four stories and 250 beds.

The vision of Shoe4Africa came to him after he attended running training camps in Kenya. While there, he learnt that something as simple as wearing shoes can easily prevent a person from contracting hookworm, which leads to malaria—the major cause of death of tens of millions of Africans each year.

“A healthy Africa is one that will be self-reliant and a strong foothold for the future generation of positive change,” according to Toby.

Shoe4Africa Builds a Children’s Hospital

In an effort to raise the $15,000,000 required to build the largest Children’s Hospital in Africa, he created the idea and social movement called “Click-A-Brick.” This allows donors the ability to buy a single brick for the hospital for $10 each brick. Since 2007, funds raised have built up to over $1,300,000. One hundred percent of the money raised goes to building the Children’s Hospital.

Toby’s vision to make the world a better place for children and women in Africa, his movement, and crusade have found support from politicians, sportspeople, models, fashion designers, business leaders, TV stars, and movie stars all helping him promote his crusade of making the world a better place. It’s amazing considering that it all started from a single idea of goodwill and the courage to act on it.

A Runner and a Philanthropist

He is a philanthropist, writer, and accomplished runner with over 160 race victories around the world, including 42 New York Road Runners club races. Add to that his role as a coach and a race director.

Toby’s Shoe4Africa organization has created the largest running events across Africa, and with his passion and commitment, his Shoe4Africa nonprofit organization continues to gain a ground swell of support and momentum in spite of the many challenges he faced along the way. For him, it’s worth all the trouble because he sees it as a vehicle to make the world a better place.

We celebrate Toby because of his natural–born talent, mixed with his compassionate spirit, his courage and determination as a beacon and living example that we can all be extraordinary when we truly believe in something and persistently work at it. It’s a simple as a decision, followed through by action.

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Top Reasons why Toby Tanser is Extraordinary

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