Meghan Markle stepped into the highly charged national debate over gun control by sending a letter of support and snacks to volunteers for Moms Demand Action, a grassroots organization that advocates for stronger gun safety laws.
Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, on Wednesday revealed in a tweet that the organization recently received the letter of support, signed by “Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex,” and an array of “delicious and appreciated” snacks.
In the wake of the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, Moms Demand Action volunteers and staff have been “working around the clock for weeks,” Watts said on Twitter. She added that it “was moving to receive such a supportive note — and snacks! — from the Duchess of Sussex today.” Watts also shared a photo of the note from Meghan, which included a logo displaying a cursive “M” and a crown.
.@MomsDemand volunteers and staff have been working around the clock for weeks, so it was moving to receive such a supportive note – and snacks! – from the Duchess of Sussex today. pic.twitter.com/obksyn8Jmu
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) June 22, 2022
Watts followed up with another tweet that said the snacks included “donuts, bagels w/the works, coffee, cookies, etc… Delicious and appreciated.”
In her note, Meghan wrote, “Good afternoon ladies! To each of you and your fearless leader, Shannon, a huge thank you for the work you are doing to keep our kids, families, and communities safe.”
Meghan, the mother of son Archie, 3, and daughter Lilibet, 1, continued: “Please know that while you may feel exhausted by your endless hours of dedication to this cause, I hope you feel energized in knowing that the work you’re doing is vital and so deeply appreciated. As a mom, as a friend, thank you so much!”
On May 14, 10 Black people were killed in a racially motivated mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo. Ten days later, a gunman fatally shot 19 fourth-grade students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The suspects in both cases were 18-year-old males.
As Moms Demand Action said in a June 15 press release, the shootings prompted the organization to seize the momentum of national horror over the violence and kick their operations into high gear. “Our volunteers are making life-saving progress in states and cities across the country,” Watts said in a statement. “In the last few weeks alone, our volunteers have helped pass historic legislation through state houses, city halls and school boards — and we’re only getting stronger.”
Offering support to Moms Demand Action isn’t the first time the California-based duchess has made her concern about gun violence in America known.
Before Meghan traveled to the U.K. in early June with Prince Harry to attend Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, she made a trip to Uvalde to honor the victims of the shooting. She was spotted laying white flowers with a purple ribbon at a memorial outside the Uvalde County Courthouse. She also knelt down and hung her head at a cross for 10-year-old victim Uziyah Garcia.
Representatives for the American duchess said she made the trip in a private capacity “as a mother,” and her supporters said she wasn’t trying to draw attention to herself but only offering support to volunteers at a local crisis center. But her critics accused her of trying to use the tragedy as a photo op, saying she she made her gesture of condolence at a public memorial where news photographers were taking photos.
Meghan’s donation to Moms Demand Action is likely to stir further debate about the former TV actor taking sides in a contentious political issue. When she was a senior working member of the British royal family, she would have been expected to always stay publicly neutral about any political issue, whether in the U.K. or in the U.S.
However, since she and Harry left royal life and moved to California, both have spoken up more about politics, including encouraging people to vote in the 2020 election and Meghan voicing support for paid family leave.