Per its name, the PhillyRising Collaborative partners with community members, organizations and other stakeholders to bring positive and substantial changes to tough neighborhoods. This past Saturday, June 29th, PhillyRising helped to accomplish both in one of its most successful partnerships to date.
In Allegheny West, (part of PhillyRising’s Northwest Division) key community stakeholders wanted to take a stand against gun violence. While such an intention was noble, creating an impactful change within the neighborhood would require both partnerships and participation from the community.
In terms of partnerships, PhillyRising’s Jim Sanders worked with Brown’s ShopRite, Uplift Solutions, Pastor Glen Spaulding of Deliverance Evangelistic Church to develop a plan to buy-back illegal guns with no questions asked. Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., Councilwoman Cindy Bass and the Philadelphia Police Department would help facilitate what they all hoped to be a large-scale effort. The only other thing the buy-back would need to be successful was buy-in from community members.
Thankfully, there was. On Saturday, at the Deliverance Evangelistic Church, community members turned in a grand total of 417 guns, each in exchange for a $100 gift card on behalf of Brown’s ShopRite. This effort proved to be a shining example of how effective public and private partnerships can be; it also showed the commitment of the citizens in Allegheny West to uplift their community.
“Are gun buy-backs going to put an end to gun violence? Maybe not. But one gun placed in the wrong hands is too many.” PhillyRising’s Jim Sanders said.
“If taking one gun out of one hand saves one life, we have accomplished our goal.” Dot Newton of the Deliverance Evangelistic Church’s CDC said.
Managing Director Rich Negrin said, “Mayor Nutter said it best in quoting Isaiah 2: 3-4 on the City’s partnership with Liberty United: ‘ …And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.’ That scripture helps teach us that every single gun we take off the street—whether that be through buy-backs or making guns into jewelry—we are communicating and reaffirming our values as a society, moving away from violence.”PhillyRising would like to thank Jeffery Brown, CEO of Brown’s ShopRite, Uplift Solutions, the Deliverance Evangelistic Church and the community members who sold back guns for making such a positive impact in their neighborhood.
For more information on PhillyRising’s efforts in the Northwest Division, or ways to get involved, please contact PhillyRisisng Coordinator Jim Sanders. (Jimmie.Sanders@phila.gov or 215.686.8419)