Samuel Bistrian’s story begins in the remote village of Benesti in Romania. This little community is where he experienced firsthand the struggles of living in a Communist controlled country. Bistrian received his first pair of rain boots, passed down from his siblings, when he was six years old. At the age of eight, the Communist regime fell and as a result, his family seized the opportunity to migrate to the United States.
In 2001, Bistrian returned to Romania for the first time since moving to America. It was there that he saw impoverished children trudging through the rain and snow. Because he witnessed these children wearing inadequate shoes, he knew he had to help. After graduating college, Bistrian pursued a career in fashion at Neiman Marcus. In 2009, he met the founder of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie, and instantly became inspired to create his own philanthropic company. Bistrian knew this was the most effective way to combine his love for fashion and desire to serve others.
As a result of his new-found inspiration and thanks to the gracious help of his friends and family, ROMA Boots was born in 2010. A few years later, Bistrian decided that he wanted to take his philanthropic passion to the next level. Due to his keen desire to serve others, Bistrian decided to have two entities. The first entity was the for-profit side, ROMA Boots, while the second entity was the conduit to carry out the mission of “Giving Poverty The Boot”. Roma For All was renamed to ROMA Foundation in 2016 since the foundation received their 501(c)(3) status in June.
Because of his heart and passion to serve, thousands of children across the world have been provided with brand new pairs of rain boots. As a result, this small notion of kindness furthers our mission to Give Poverty The Boot!