Recently, in Yonkers, a four year-old little girl was shot by a gun, that was left unattended in her home. The news reported that the little girl played with it and shot herself. Unfortunately, the young girl lost an eye and part of her brain from it.
Though this was not a direct act of violence, it was a direct act of irresponsibility of the adults that were around her. It caused an unnecessary death of someone far too young to understand the dangers of guns.
Project SNUG immediately moved to action passing out fliers about the danger of gun violence, in the immediate neighborhood and other surrounding communities to remind people that violence is not necessary.
Deputy Chief Tim Hodges of the Yonkers Police Department felt as though there needs to be a stronger message about gun violence. He approached Project SNUG’s Outreach Supervisor Hanif Walker about a special project.
“Would Project SNUG consider passing out free gun locks to the community? We will not be asking for any information about who receives them. We just don’t want to see any other children die.” Hanif made it a point to contact his supervisors immediately. He wanted to be sure that no one misunderstood our policy that we do not share information with the police.
The Yonkers Family YMCA and the Yonkers Police Department have a special relationship. Life is a top priority for both organizations. This fits in our mission, particularly that of Project SNUG.
The key thing to remember is that it is about saving lives, ending violence, or stopping the misuse of instruments of violence. It’s about keeping the main thing the main thing. Every life matters. Especially children.