For 16 years the organization has focused on two programs: the first to locate survivors of gun violence (those who have lost a family member or themselves been injured by gunfire) and help them turn their grief into action by becoming advocates for sensible gun laws;, and by participating in the second program, speaking to young people about the dangers of guns and the impact on families as well as to parents about gun safety and the dangers of guns in the home.
I have worked with the survivors, many of whom now serve on the Board of WAGV, and who talk of how WAGV saved their lives and sanity by giving them purpose in life.
I became aware of WAGV through Rhonda Foster when I was a teacher in a correctional facility in Chino, CA. Her 7 yo son had been murdered by a gang member's 'stray bullet.' I contacted her and she agreed to speak to the felons in my class. We kept in touch and she told me of this organization. Since then I have attended events held by WAGV. They have the extraordinary job of educating the public regarding the daily tradegies inflicted upon communities, families and individuals due to gun violence. They do this by calling upon victims of homocide--like Rhonda--who have lost children, especially, to criminals who possess illegal firearms. And they do this in Southern California where the incidence of homocide exceeds that of almost every other major city in the country. The men and women of this organization are dedicated citizens who advocate for non violence, peace, and the end of death by guns in our communities.
WAGV relies on small fundraisers and donations to defray the costs of printing, mailing, organizing and spreading the word of their organization. They go into communities that most people fear and talk to people that most people would not, in order to discourage violence. They attend rallies in these same communties to bring attention to their message of peaceful coexistence. Their are untiring in their efforts and are committed to bringing violence to a halt in the streets of Los Angeles and its surrounding cities.
Review from Guidestar
WAGV mission is "To prevent gun violence by educating individuals and policymakers about the human, public health, and financial consequences of the gun violence epidemic and by mobilizing our communities to take decisive action against the dangers of firearms." WAGV is an amazing organization and I am proud to serve as the board chair :)
Review from Guidestar