Toms Founder to donate $5 million in effort to end gun violence

The shoe company that’s best known for its “one-for-one” donations to children in need announced it will donate millions of dollars to combat gun violence.

Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms, announced on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Monday that his company will donate $5 million to organizations committed to ending gun violence. It is the largest sum ever donated to the cause.

The Toms website lists seven partner organizations: Black & Brown Gun Violence Prevention Consortium, Everytown for Gun Safety, Faith in Action, Giffords, Livefree, March For Our Lives and Moms Demand Action.

Mycoskie suggested his actions come as a result of recent mass shootings, including the Nov. 8 shooting at the Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks.

“Twelve days ago the shootings happened in Thousand Oaks,” Mycoskie said through tears. “My wife called me and she was scared and she said, ‘I’m not taking our son to school today. This happened two weeks ago in a synagogue and a yoga studio, and someone has to do something about it.’”

Mycoskie also announced that anyone can go to the Toms website and send a physical postcard to their members of Congress asking them to pass a universal background check law.

“You know what, dammit, we’re going to do something about it,” Mycoskie said.

Toms given away a pair of shoes for every pair bought since 2006. According to the company’s website, over 60 million pairs of shoes have been given since the company was founded.

Alyssa Hodenfield is a video producer for The Bee and McClatchy’s west region. Prior to joining the video team, she interned at WCCO-TV and KTTC-TV. Alyssa graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.