Saving Children from Gun Violence
Each year more than 17,000 American children fall victim to gun violence. It's an epidemic.
Our mission is simple: Get illegal guns from off the street and remake them into powerful symbols of action that you wear every day and that fund programs to save a child’s life; maybe even your child.
With this aim, Liberty United transforms illegal guns and ammunition provided by police into stunning, handcrafted jewelry. Every purchase that you make of a Liberty United product helps to protect an at-risk child from gun violence. Twenty to twenty-five percent of profit from each sale is donated to these programs.
Stories of Children We're Helping
Liberty United works together with local law enforcement agencies and mayors’ offices to pursue its mission. From enrichment programs, to life-skills training, to recreation centers, the programs we focus on help to protect, foster and even save the lives of children growing up under the constant threat of gun violence.
To better understand how vital these programs are to young lives, here are stories of three children who are thriving thanks directly to your support of Liberty United.
Tina, 13 Years Old
Tina, a seventh grader, started at a new school in Chicago’s Englewood community when she moved in with her foster family last year. Tina was struggling with anger issues and managing her stress levels to the point that it was severely impacting her behavior at school. She started missing assignments, calling in sick and feeling disconnected from school. One of her teachers recommended she try going to Children’s Home + Aid’s Community Schools programming (which we help to fund).
On her first day of after school programming, she participated in dance class where she made a strong connection with her dance instructor. She decided to give the program a chance. For the rest of the school year, Tina went every day after school where she received therapy, tutoring, cooking and dance lessons. At a time in her life when she was ready to give up on school, she found a safe and nurturing environment where she feels she belongs.
In the spring, Tina took Chicago Public Schools standardized testing. Out of her entire school, she achieved the highest scores in math and reading. She also won an art competition for a child abuse awareness poster that she created. This encouraged her to participate in more advocacy campaigns about social service funding. Today, Tina is thriving in school. She was recently adopted by her foster mother and is excited about her future.
Joyce, 11 Years Old
Every Saturday morning, Joyce bounds into the Newburgh Armory Unity Center in Newburgh, NY. She comes to study math and reading, to indulge in art and music, and to play games and sports. She's joined by her sister Janet, 12, and their brother Joshua, 8.
Joyce, Janet, and Joshua are growing up in a city ranked number 1 in violent crime in New York State. In fact, Newburgh has sometimes been referred to as "the murder capital of New York." That's why the Newburgh Armory Unity Center and its inspiring programs are so crucial. Within the Center's secure environment, Joyce and her sister and brother have a safe and nurturing place to gain essential skills for their futures while also having fun.
The Center's Enrichment Program began in March 2014. Its primary goal is to provide academic and art classes at no cost for children of all ethnic and economic backgrounds in the City of Newburgh. Today, the program has more than 300 registered students — many of whom would not have access to such opportunities due to financial hardship.
Kyree, 12 Years Old
Watching your back is rule number 1 in Kyree's neighborhood, the Southside of Syracuse, NY. A full 80 percent of all gun murders in Syracuse takes place there. Beyond the threat of flying bullets, Southside children are also vulnerable to being swept up in street crime and violence.
Fortunately, Kyree has the Journey to Manhood Program (J2M) at the Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility to give him focus, direction, and opportunity. Through J2M, this budding musician is learning about a variety of musical styles and enjoying the rhythm of poetry as well. The program also equips Kyree with conflict resolution skills to help him cope with the challenges of living in on the Southside.
Best of all, J2M gives Kyree the opportunity to experience the world outside his dangerous neighborhood by traveling to cultural venues in Syracuse where he can safely develop his interests and dream big. He is fortunate to have a solid family behind him who supports his participation in the program. As Kyree's mom says, "[J2M] helps him use his mind and to see something other than people on the corner."
Ada, 12 Years Old
My name is Ada. I am in the sixth grade and I have three siblings. I have lived in Englewood [Illinois] for five years. I love being with my friends and helping to cook dinner for my family.
My neighborhood isn't always safe. Sometimes people do crazy things. It can be scary just being outside after school and especially at night. Sometimes you can hear gunshots and police sirens all night long. It doesn’t matter if you are a good person or a bad person, sometimes people just get shot walking down the street.
After school, my mom doesn't like me to leave the house or go down the street to the park. This makes me sad, because I love to go outside with my friends and play my favorite game, “Johnny Come Across,” a running game.
One of the reasons I like our Community Schools Program is that it gives me a place to be with my friends after school that is safe. I don't have to worry about anything bad happening to me or my friends, and I get to play basketball, practice cooking and dance with my friends. I also get a lot of help with my homework or whatever is bothering me in my life.
Someday I would like to be a dancer and maybe I will leave Englewood but first I need to finish school. My mom always tells me that an education is the way to have my own future and the after-school program helps me with that.
Noelia, 18 years old
The "Unheard Voices: Violence and Peace Project" has helped me think more about victims' inner feelings and past. It's helped me feel more empathy and to show more kindness to victims instead of nodding my head and feeling pity for them. I now see victims of violence as strong people who had a rough past but survived and are here today. It also made me think about those victims who are not here today. The project really made me appreciate the life I live and although times get tough there are people that have it tougher. Most of all this project made me feel good to be giving a voice to these victims and letting them know that they are not alone and that there are people who understand them.
Liberty United partners with communities across the USA that face particularly high levels of gun violence. Law enforcement agencies in these partner communities help us to obtain and destroy illegal guns from their operations. Liberty United funds programs for at-risk children in these same communities.
Cook County, Illinois
is a county in the United States state of Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,194,675. With more than 40 percent of all Illinois residents, it is the most populous county in Illinois and the second-most populous county in the United States. Chicago is its largest city.
New Orleans, Louisiana
is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The population of the city was 343,829 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. New Orleans is known for its cuisine, music (particularly as the birthplace of jazz), and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras, dating to French colonial times.
Newburgh, New York
is a city located in Orange County, New York, United States, 60 miles north of New York City. Newburgh is a part of the New York metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 28,866.
is the largest city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and the fifth-most-populous in the United States. The estimated population in 2014 was 1,560,297.
Syracuse, New York
is a city in New York State and is the fourth most populous metropolitan city in the state of New York. At the 2010 census, the city population was 145,170