Photo courtesy of Nora Clougherty Members of the TOMS club at Saint Mary’s Skyped with TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie during his TED talk Thursday.The TOMS company, through its “One for One” model, donates a pair of shoes to the poor in third-world countries every time someone buys a pair of its shoes. When someone purchases TOMS eyewear, a part of the profit goes to help restore sight to those who are poor. A new addition to the One for One organization is TOMS tote bags. Every time one is sold, a new bag, along with a safe home birth kit, is given to a pregnant mother in need of one.“For a long time, TOMS just provided shoes,” Mycoskie said. “We now have factories in Haiti and Kenya. We try to continually stretch the boundary of our company to create jobs.”Martin Burt, the founder and CEO of Fundacion Paraguaya (FP), which receives and distributes donated shoes, also Skyped in with Mycoskie and the Saint Mary’s club.“We are using TOMS not as charity but as self-help,” he said. “It is self-help and self-reliance that gets people out of poverty.”Burt, who founded FP in 1985, works to provide education in entrepreneurship and microcredit to students in Paraguay. At the moment, he is creating schools specifically for rural youth who are chronically unemployed, as well as developing the “Poverty Stoplight,” which uses technology to help poor families understand their economic position and work to improve it.“Our bottom line is impact, not poverty,” he said. “We try to design ways to diminish poverty.”TOMS club president Nora Clougherty said it was rewarding to speak to both Mycoskie and Burt, whose foundation, as a TOMS giving partner, directly uses the shoes.“We were not only able to witness how the shoes are being put to use, but we also got to talk to someone who was directly impacting TOMS,” she said.In response to a question from the Saint Mary’s club, Mycoskie said the biggest challenge was just making the shoes while keeping one question in mind.“How do you preserve a culture of giving as you scale a big business?” he said.Mycoskie said another major obstacle was keeping in mind the purpose of TOMS creation.“The challenge was in keeping the whole organization excited and focused on why we do what we do,” Mycoskie said. “More important is the mindset that we’re changing.”Burt said a partial obstacle to eliminating poverty is that people sometimes forget that poverty exists.“It’s not that the poor are invisible — we do not see,” Burt said. “We can transform the world and end poverty in one generation just with the TOMS shoe example, but it is impossible for people to see the solutions that are right under our nose.”Burt said TOMS is a good model because it can be applied beyond just shoes.“This is about social innovation, taking what works in one industry and applying it to another industry,” he said.Clougherty said the conversation inspired the club to continue to spread its message.“My goal is to one day see everyone on campus wearing TOMS so that we can see the change a simple purchase can have,” she said.Another club member, Delaney Hunt, said talking to Mycoskie helped her to consider the service aspect of business.“Talking to somebody that has that reputation and is so well-known makes it more real,” she said. “It makes me believe in their mission even more — it makes it more personal. The business model itself is interesting in that you could apply it to anything. It gives me ideas on what you can do with a normal business major.”Club member Tori Wilbraham said Mycoskie’s talk was particularly impactful as she prepares to graduate.“He inspired me to follow my passions rather than pursue a career for money,” Wilbraham said.
Fox Sports West reportedly declined to renew the contract of Clippers television analyst Bruce Bowen after he made comments critical of Kawhi Leonard in June, ESPN first reported Monday.Bowen was under contract with Fox Sports West, but the Clippers – like every major pro sports team – have significant input into the hiring of television broadcast talents and withheld approval on extending his contract, the report said.Bowen, a Cal State Fullerton product, served as a color commentator for Clippers broadcasts alongside play-by-play man Ralph Lawler during the 2017-18 season, replacing longtime analyst Michael Smith.On June 21, Bowen made an appearance on Sirius XM Radio and was critical of how Leonard handled his departure from San Antonio: Assuming Leonard, who was limited to nine games in 2017-18, plays a full season for the Raptors and re-establishes himself as one of the game’s best all-around players, he’ll be arguably the most sought-after player in a loaded free-agent class that is expected to include Klay Thompson (unrestricted), Kevin Durant (player option), Kyrie Irving (player option) and Jimmy Butler (player option) next summer. It is widely expected Leonard will decline his $21.3 million player option for 2019-20, and the Southern California native apparently prefers to play for one of the L.A. teams.The Clippers are projected to have nearly $40 million in salary cap space next summer and could clear enough additional space to offer a max-level contract to both Leonard and another elite free agent. Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Bowen’s comments might have drawn additional attention, too, since he was a former Spurs player who won three titles under longtime coach Gregg Popovich. Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors for DeMar DeRozan in July after a falling out in which the Spurs and Leonard disagreed on how to handle his quadriceps issues.Leonard sought outside medical advice during the season and spent significant time away from the Spurs while training at the National Basketball Players Association facilities in New York. He was not with the Spurs during their first-round playoff loss to Golden State. “I think there’s nothing but excuses going on. First, it was, ‘Well I was misdiagnosed.’ Look here: You got $18 million this year, and you think that they’re trying to rush you? You didn’t play for the most part a full season this year. And you’re the go-to guy, you’re the franchise, and you want to say that they didn’t have your best interest at heart? Are you kidding me?Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.“I think he’s getting bad advice. I think what you’re starting to see now is an individual given a certain amount of advice, and it’s not the right advice. Here it is: You were protected in San Antonio. You were able to come up during a time where you still could lean on Tim (Duncan), Tony (Parker) and Manu (Ginobili).”The Clippers – along with the Lakers – are believed to be one of the front-runners to land Leonard during free agency next summer and the Bowen decision is perceived as one that sends a clear message about how the organization plans to protect star players.Related Articles What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates