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David Hogg knows a thing or two about boycotts.

The 18-year-old Stoneman Douglas High School senior and Parkland shooting survivor has put Fox News host Laura Ingraham in the hot seat after orchestrating a hugely successful boycott of her show.

Before that, he helped bring attention to companies that have business deals with the NRA, leading to some companies like Hertz to end those partnerships.


Now he's calling out some of the country's biggest investment firms for enriching the gun industry.

On April 17, Hogg tweeted to his 700k followers that Vanguard and BlackRock "are two of the biggest investors in gun manufacturers; if you use them, feel free to let them know. Thanks," adding “#BoycottVanguard #BoycottBlackrock,” in a series of follow-up tweets.

This is far bigger than his boycott of Laura Ingraham because it affects millions of people with retirement funds — probably including you.

According to some estimates, around 90 million Americans invest in gun manufacturers through their retirement plans, resulting in $1.51 billion in yearly earnings for the industry. That means the average American with a 401(k) plan has around $17 invested in gun manufacturer stocks, whether they know it or not.

Both Vanguard and BlackRock are major contributors to this phenomenon. Blackrock is the leading shareholder of at least two gunmakers — Ruger and American Outdoor Brands (formerly known as Smith & Wesson) — as well as the second-leading shareholder in Vista Outdoor, which carries a number of firearm-related companies under its corporate umbrella. Vanguard is right behind, as the second-leading shareholder in Ruger and the third-largest holder in both American Outdoor Brands and Vista Outdoor.

Simply put, if Hogg and his supporters can convince Vanguard and BlackRock to reduce or divest their gun stocks, it would have a major impact on the industry.

BlackRock is now offering customers a fund free of gun investment and said it's talking to gun manufacturers.

Both companies pushed back against Hogg's boycott call without specifically criticizing Hogg or any other student activists.

BlackRock has already created an investment plan for customers that is specifically free of stocks tied to gun manufacturers and said it has engaged with some of those gun manufacturers about public policy issues surrounding gun safety in a larger reassessment of its relationship with those companies following the Parkland shootings.

Vanguard also released a statement claiming that "359 of its 388 funds do not directly invest in ... Ruger, American Outdoor Brands, or Vista Outdoor." They noted that customers can request an investment fund that does not contribute to gun manufacturers and echoed BlackRock's decision to engage directly with gun manufacturers over policy discussions.

"Importantly, Vanguard is taking action, meeting with the leaders of gun manufacturers and distributors," the statement read. "We want to know how they will mitigate the risks that their products pose and how they plan to help prevent such tragedies from happening again."

If you're unsure where your retirement funds are being invested, here are twoguides that can help you ensure your funds aren't going to gun companies.

As awareness of corporate responsibility grows, Hogg is proving that our retirement funds don't have to come at the cost of others' lives.

Hogg is showing activists and concerned consumers alike how they can use their voices and their wallets to affect the gun violence epidemic in the U.S.

While progress continues to stall on actual gun safety legislation, businesses and larger corporations are not immune to economic pressure. Investing in gun manufacturers has been good business for fund managers, but it certainly isn't the defining source of their income.

So if the boycott continues, it could prove to be a headache that far outweighs any financial gain they previously enjoyed.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

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We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

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Sadly, a lot of men go out of their way to avoid learning anything about a woman's period.

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