We’ve been working in the community long enough to realize that there’s no single, big way to prevent gun violence. There are hundreds of little ways. So, when SAY San Diego invited SD4GVP to take part in a Season of Peace event to welcome youngsters back to school, we jumped at it.
On August 27, we joined families, community members and volunteers at Memorial Park in Logan Heights to participate in activities and share resources related to gun violence prevention. It was a child-centered day of meaningful, enjoyable activities aimed at preparing children to return to the classroom.
Families brought their children, who expressed themselves by writing haiku poetry with a back-to-school theme. Many youngsters also gathered around a popular Wheel of Fortune game to test their luck at various prizes.
We found a receptive audience among community families who wanted to know more about safe storage of firearms and gun violence restraining orders. We distributed copies of the book Victims on Both Ends of the Gun, and attendees had the opportunity to learn more about SD4GVP and Your Safe Place.
Our volunteers included Julie Litman, Peggy Hetherington, Natalie Hagewood and Sue “The Haiku Lady” Taylor — plus one other who impressed us all, albeit in an understated way. It turned out that one young volunteer was fulfilling his court-ordered community service hours by helping at the event. All those who worked with him throughout the day appreciated his assistance and dedication to the cause.
Season of Peace was designed by city and community leaders as a series of events dedicated to promoting peace and curbing gun violence. The back-to-school event was well attended and it contributed to the continued momentum of the Season of Peace campaign.
Debbie Loomis is the mother of two adult children. She is a former community organizer and now teaches middle and high school students in San Diego County.
photo credit: Carol Landale