Toms Shoes' Blake Mycoskie on gun violence: "Someone has to do something"
Toms Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie wants Americans to visit his company's website, and not only to peruse the latest footwear. In an emotional appearance on Monday night's episode of the Tonight Show, the retail entrepreneur cited a shooting earlier this month in a California bar that killed 13 in announcing that his company would donate $5 million to groups working to end gun violence.
"Twelve days ago the shootings happened in Thousand Oaks, and my wife called me and she was scared, and she said, 'I'm not taking our son to school today,'" he said, noting other recent mass shootings while holding back tears.
"Someone has to do something about it," Mycoskie added.
The organizations in line to get money from Toms are Black & Brown Gun Violence Prevention Consortium, Everytown for Gun Safety, Faith in Action, Giffords, Livefree, March for Our Lives and Moms Demand Action.
"We can give money, and I am hoping other companies will join us too, but the most important is we give every American an opportunity to act," Mycoskie said.
People can now go to Toms site to have a physical postcard sent on their behalf to members of Congress, urging the adoption of universal background checks.
The campaign drew a strong reception on social media, with celebrities including Mariska Hargitay, Tea Leoni and Ryan Seacrest urging people to send postcards.
Mycoskie founded Toms in 2006 after traveling to Argentina and encountering children who couldn't afford shoes. He also imported the country's signature loafers, called "alpargatas," into the U.S. Toms is known for donating a pair of shoes to children in need for each pair they sell.
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