2019 in Review & 2020 Ahead

It was a year of increased attention on gun violence as community leaders around the country grappled with how to stop its deadly spread. Locally we’ve continued our mission to educate our neighbors about the issue, advocate for sensible gun legislation, and participate with other equally committed people and organizations working for change. That’s why we’ve designated 2020 as the Year of Collaboration to maximize the impact of our efforts. Numbers matter!

We plan to build on what we accomplished in 2019:

  • Distributed 2,780 free gun locks at 115 events through GAGV’s Lock It For Love (LIFL) program. Some 74 volunteers have been involved with the program since it began in July of 2017.
  • Received a $6,300 grant from Health Forward Foundation to purchase the gun locks distributed through LIFL.
  • Continued partnering on LIFL events with Children’s Mercy Hospital, 12 police departments on both sides of the state line and three Suicide Prevention Coalitions.
  • Organized the successful 6th annual Community Forum featuring Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix, two California men whose lives were tragically linked by gun violence. Close to 300 people attended the event, co-sponsored by the 30 community organizations of the Heartland Coalition Against Gun Violence, a program of Grandparents Against Gum Violence representing 10,000 residents in Kansas and Missouri.
  • Provided stimulating monthly educational programs drawing an average attendance of more than 70 people to hear speakers discussing the many different facets of gun violence.
  • Encouraged those attendees to participate in “Acts of Advocacy” after each program, ranging from writing ‘spanks or thanks’ postcards to legislators and retailers to displaying motivational yard signs at their homes.
  • Ended the year with GAGV membership at 260 dues-paying members and increased our database to 1,962 contacts.
  • Continued to be recognized by local print and broadcast media as a reliable source in reporting gun-related issues in the news.
  • Increased our social media presence on Facebook and continued publication of our monthly e-newsletter.

Get Ready for 2020 & the Year of Collaboration! We plan to:

  • Seek out more like-minded organizations to partner with on complementary projects.
  • Attract new dues-paying members to support our work and amplify our impact through increased numbers.
  • Keep existing members engaged and committed with meaningful volunteer opportunities, excellent monthly programs and Acts of Advocacy.
  • Produce for the seventh consecutive year an outstanding Community Forum addressing gun violence, in collaboration with the community supporters of the Heartland Coalition Against Gun Violence.
  • Strengthen the Heartland Coalition through increased interaction among its participants.
  • Expand our three-year-old Lock It For Love program throughout the metro area and beyond.
  • Secure additional grants to fund a part-time administrative assistant and finance professional office space.

2020 GAGV Board of Directors

Judy Sherry……………………………………………… Founder and President

Charlotte Davison…………………………………….. Secretary

Lona Harris………………………………………………. Treasurer

Carla Oppenheimer…………………………………… Heartland Coalition & Community Forum

Barb McNeile…………………………………………… Lock It For Love & Development

Chris Glenski……………………………………………. Lock It For Love & Development

Joan Jacobsen………………………………………….. Volunteers & Membership