What We’ve Been Up To
Despite restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we remain hard at work. Our monthly Zoom meetings and programs have been well-attended and our committees, also connecting by Zoom, have accomplished a great deal. Read on for updates about these projects:
LOCK IT FOR LOVE
Like reliable mail carriers, neither rain, nor sleet nor even COVID-19 can stop the distribution of free gun locks through GAGV’s gun safety program.
LIFL is now using community partners to help distribute gun locks and gun safety information to families with firearms in their homes. In place of a real-time demonstration of how to properly use a gun lock, recipients are now directed online to a 3-minute video featuring KCPD Officer Rick Jones showing the simple steps. See the video here.
To date, participating community partners are the Thornberry Unit of Boys and Girls Clubs, the University of Missouri Extension-Clay County Grandfamilies group, plus Charlie’s House at its Safety Demonstration Home and Swope Health, both in KCMO. Pediatric practices and nonprofits concerned with child safety have also expressed interest. In addition, GAGV provides free gun locks to Dr. Shayla Sullivant, an adolescent psychiatrist at Children’s Mercy Hospital whose regular presentations emphasize the need to limit young peoples’ access to ways they can harm themselves, including firearms.
LIFL’s first retooling came last year when volunteers distributed gun locks to participants driving through food pick-up lines sponsored by Harvesters and the KCMO Health Dept.
“Our aim has always been to get gun locks in the hands of people who need them while also keeping our volunteers safe,” said Barb McNeile, who co-chairs the LIFL committee with GAGV board member Chris Glenski. “We’re confident LIFL has saved a life and prevented a serious gun injury.”
Since beginning in 2017, LIFL has distributed 3,900 free gun locks and educational materials. If you have suggestions for enlisting other community partners or want to volunteer when in-person distribution returns, contact Barb or Chris.
ACTS OF KINDNESS
Join us in this easy, feel-good endeavor. When you want to thank an essential worker for a job well done or give a thank you to someone who offers you a helping hand, give them a bag of treats and see their faces light up with surprise and pleasure. Saint Andrew Christian Church in Olathe is now partnering with us to distribute these treat bags.