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Toms Founder Blake Mycoskie Announces $5 Million Donation to End Gun Violence


-Blake.
-Wow. -Thank you for being
on the show. And I am a fan of Toms
and the whole idea behind Toms, but that is not your name. -No, let’s clear that up
right now. -Yeah, no. But it could have been Blake’s,
but not really. -No, when I decided to start it, I said if we sell
a pair of shoes today, we’re going to give away
a pair of shoes tomorrow. And then they were called
Tomorrow Shoes, but then I couldn’t fit
“Tomorrows” on this damn tag. [ Laughter ] -So it became Toms.
-So it became Toms. -People call me Tom
all the time. -And you’re fine with people
calling you Tom? -Yeah, but I’m hoping now that
I’m on this show — -They’ll call you Blake.
-Yeah, in the airport tomorrow, people are going to
call me Blake. It’s gonna be a good day.
-Yeah, it is Blake. Founder of Toms.
[ Cheers and applause ] So, just quickly,
tell me kind of the story. It was 12 years ago
you started Toms? -12 years ago,
I was in Argentina traveling. I saw many children
without shoes. I wanted to do something
to help them. And I said, “What if we start
a shoe company where every time we sold a pair of shoes
we would give a pair away?” One for one. Really simple idea. I was in my apartment
at the time. And now we’ve given 86 million
children a pair of shoes. [ Cheers and applause ] Just like —
I mean, I would have — -Isn’t it amazing
that you’re saying that? Isn’t that so cool? -To even say that out loud,
just right now, it feels like
an out-of-body experience. -But I mean, when you were
there, did it just take off as soon as you go,
“Hey, we’re doing this thing”? -People just — when we said — We put this intention
out to the world. We said when you buy a pair,
we’re gonna give a pair. You get to be an activist, you
get to be giver, and people showed up. -And you’ve taken this
and taken it to the next level. I’m just so happy that…
-Thank you. -…that you exist
on this planet. You’re doing a new thing —
-Yeah! -Yeah, sure, you can give it up.
It’s good. [ Cheers and applause ] That’s exactly what you should
be doing. It’s awesome. Tonight you have
a whole new campaign tonight that you’re going to
announce with us. -First time ever. -And I will be the first one
ever to do this. But explain what’s happening. -So — All right.
I’m emotional. 12 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.” This happened two weeks ago
in a synagogue, in a yoga studio. And someone has to do
something about it. And I got off the phone with her
and I was emotional. And I sat there and I thought
and I said, “You know what? Damn it, we’re going to do
something about it.” So tonight we’re announcing that we’re going to evolve
our giving model. So Toms not only will continue
to give shoes, but we will give considerable
resources to the causes and the most important issues
of our time. And we’re going to start
by giving $5 million to the most amazing
organizations who are working hard
on the ground every day to end gun violence. And this will be the single
largest corporate gift to end gun violence in the
history of the United States. [ Cheers and applause ] -That’s awesome, dude. That’s awesome.
That’s awesome. [ Cheers and applause ] That’s awesome, dude.
-Thank you. -It’s so awesome. It’s so awesome
that you’re doing this. So, along with that as well,
you have a new thing that’s launching
actually tonight, right now. Right now,
if you go to toms.com — -Let me tell you about it.
-Yeah. -The most important thing,
we can give money, and other companies
I’m hoping will join us too. But the most important is
we give every American the opportunity to act. So, we developed a technology,
just in the last four days, it’s on toms.com right now. You can go on there,
and in less than 30 seconds, you can send a physical postcard
to your representative by putting your address in. That postcard will go to
your representative, urging them to do one thing — let’s pass universal
background checks. This is something that 90% of
Americans are in favor of. And you can do it in 30 seconds
or less on toms.com. [ Cheers and applause ] -I love that you’re doing this. Four days ago
this did not exist. -This didn’t exist
four days ago. We’ve had some amazing humans that have come together to make
this possible. We want to make sure
that every single American — because if every single American
makes an action like this, Congress will listen. I know they will
because 90% of Americans want universal background checks
to keep us safe. -Background checks, guys,
come on. So I want to — -And you’re gonna do it first? -I’d be honored to be the first
postcard that goes out. You kidding me?
-Yes. [ Cheers and applause ] -Here’s an iPad. I’m putting all
my information in. This is just — It says
your e-mail, your address. You can see I put my address
and stuff in there. I don’t want to show it on
national television, obviously. [ Laughter ] But for this cause
I actually would, really. But I’m going to press —
all you do is, you type that in there
and then you press submit. And then, will I see
something come up? -Yeah. See? There you go. You just did it. You sent the first postcard
right now to Congress. [ Cheers and applause ] -It’s an amazing thing
that you’re doing, dude. I love you. I’m so happy. I’m so happy
that you’re doing this. One more cool thing
that you’re doing — it’s great for everybody here
tonight and will also help people
all over the world. Everyone in the audience is
going home with a $100 Toms gift card. Happy holidays, everybody.
[ Cheers and applause ] My thanks to Blake Mycoskie! [ Cheers and applause ] You’re an awesome dude.

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