"Miss Hardy is a real-life superhero."
--New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds
Engaging and empowering communities
Guns Down Friday recognizes that communities want change and that everyone has a role to play. Every Friday afternoon and evening during the summer, Miss Hardy and her volunteers drive their van to communities where they have built relationships with families. They organize events that mobilize community members, enlist them in problem-solving to address gun violence, and teach the life-saving skills of gun safety, first aid, CPR, and tourniquet use. Marshalling resources from the community, they offer grocery gift cards and snack kits to get families through the weekend, toiletries and diapers to address their basic needs, and books and school supplies to support children’s education. When safety concerns preclude events, for example in neighborhoods with ongoing shootings or where children are not permitted to go outside, Guns Down Friday goes door-to-door to check in with families.
Being a consistent, trusted presence
Every day of the week, Miss Hardy makes herself available to address children’s ongoing needs. She welcomes a steady stream of teens into the Guns Down Friday center,currently housed in her basement, to offer a safe space. She provides guidance to youth, whether about staying in school or starting a business. During the summer, she organizes trips to Six Flags theme park, so kids have the chance to be kids.
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