Haverhill’s VIP Team Urges Wearing Orange on National Gun Violence Awareness Day

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

Gun violence has become a heartbreaking reality in this country and one group, here in Haverhill, plans to join with others throughout the U.S. honoring those who have lost their lives as well as survivors of gun violence.

June 3 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, when people are encouraged to wear orange to demonstrate support for those people whose lives have been disrupted by this scourge. Carol Ireland, program director of the city’s Violence Intervention and Prevention—or VIP—addressed the Haverhill City Council last Tuesday about those plans.

“There’s not a day that goes by that families aren’t shattered, parents aren’t frightened to send their kids to school, students aren’t afraid and anxious when something’s announced over the loudspeaker,” she said.

Ireland said her group is now working with others in the community standing together to face the problem. Among them is UTEC, an organization dedicated to helping young people overcome the challenges of poverty, gang involvement and unemployment and reducing recidivism for those who have had problems in the past.

Royal Grant is a member of UTEC. She said an event like Wear Orange Day will help more people become aware of help available to them.

“I do believe wearing our orange, bringing it right to the community, letting them know that we are here and we are supporting every member of the community will also bring that family moment to our city,” she explained.

Grant said the ultimate goal and message of the day is keeping people safe from gun violence.

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