Capitals, Capital City Go-Go, Commanders, D.C. Shadow, D.C. United, Mystics, Nationals, Spirit, and Wizards joined in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety to donate to Washington nonprofits The TraRon Center and YAAY ME, INC.
Washington, D.C. – The Washington Capitals, Capital City Go-Go, Commanders, Mystics, Nationals, Spirit, and Wizards along with D.C. Shadow and United today announced a combined donation of more than $100,000 to Everytown for Gun Safety to support Everytown for Gun Safety’s Community Safety Fund, providing direct investment and capacity building to community-based violence intervention programs. The funds were directed from Everytown to local organizations The TraRon Center and YAAY ME, INC.
The TraRon Center works to expose youth gun violence survivors to creative therapeutic modalities to assist with grieving and coping. With a focus on the inclusion of creative arts, TraRon Center will equip survivors and children with beneficial strategies to sort through the complexities of loss while promoting community health and solidarity. Funding from the Community Safety Fund will support youth transportation, program supplies, events, and program personnel – including a dedicated Art Therapist and Trauma Counselor.
YAAY ME, INC. offers a variety of programs, workshops, and support to youth, young adults, returning citizens, and residents of Washington, D.C. Programs vary in collaboration with community leaders and partners. Cure the Streets, a cornerstone program, provides gun violence intervention and prevention through public safety programming. The Safe Passage program identifies locations in and around school zones where support staff can assist with keeping students and families safe as they travel to and from school. Funding from the Community Safety Fund will support street outreach programming, personnel, equipment, and training. This includes community events and educational activities for participants.
“Cities across the country are in the midst of a gun violence crisis, but fortunately, community-based violence intervention organizations like The TraRon Center and Yaay Me, Inc. are on the frontlines doing life-saving work every day,” said Michael-Sean Spence, Senior Director of Community Safety Initiatives at Everytown for Gun Safety. “Despite the challenges, these community violence intervention groups have persisted, responding to increasing gun violence while scaling their work to more people in need. We’re grateful these D.C. sports teams are rising up in this pivotal moment to help keep the district safe and provide much needed support to critical organizations to sustain and expand their life-saving work.”
The collaborative sports teams’ effort was launched on June 3, 2022, National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Teams drew donations from fans, athletes, ownership groups, front office staff, and organizational employees.
As part of this effort around National Gun Violence Awareness Day, teams who were in season utilized their individual platforms to raise awareness across their fan bases. Collectively, that included combinations of the following:
- Making the call to action to fans to donate to the Everytown for Gun Safety’s Community Safety Fund
- Social media avatars changed to orange
- Broadcasting statistics and data on the affect gun violence has in the community
- Specially designed warm-up clothing with orange accents and gun violence prevention messaging
- Donating proceeds from select sales and events to Everytown for Gun Safety’s Community Safety Fund
Gun Violence Awareness Day is also known as Wear Orange Day. Wear Orange began on June 2, 2015—what would have been Hadiya Pendleton’s 18th birthday. On January 21, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. One week later, Hadiya was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago. Soon after this tragedy, Hadiya’s childhood friends decided to commemorate her life by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.