TOMS, the shoe brand that pioneered the one-for-one model by giving away shoes to a child in need for every pair sold, is taking the lead on ending gun violence. It’s a move that corporations are reluctant to take.
“[After] the shootings happened so close to our home and our offices at TOMS, it became very personal to me,” TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie said in an interview with Yahoo Finance’s “The Morning Meeting” show.
Mycoskie said he started TOMS 12 years ago with the simple mission: “To create a better tomorrow.” He added that the brand has a type of community that could organize around this issue.
In the aftermath of a mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Mycoskie announced during an emotional interview in late November on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” that the shoe company was making a $5 million donation to organizations campaigning to end gun violence, the largest corporate donation ever made to this cause.
Since launching the “End Gun Violence Together” campaign with the financial donation, TOMS also created a technology on its homepage to allow people to send a physical postcard to their representative urging them to pass universal background checks. So far, the company has mailed nearly 700,000 postcards.
TOMS campaign has garnered the support of big-name celebrities including Snoop Dogg , Reese Witherspoon , Joe Jonas , Shaquille O’Neal , Kerry Washington , Sheryl Crow , Mark Ruffalo , and Chelsea Handler.
“If there’s only been one disappointment so far it is that I have not been able to rally other companies to join us, yet. I say ‘yet’ because I truly believe they will.”
“[It] is the beginning of culture shifting,” he said.
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter .