Moms deliver anti-gun violence message virtually

By Kevin Beese Staff Reporter

The bulk of Moms Demand Action’s Wear Orange events in Illinois this year will be held virtually. The events, primarily happening Friday through Sunday (June 5-7), are aimed at raising awareness about gun violence. (Wear Orange photo)

Several events will be conducted in area communities as part of Moms Demand Action’s Wear Orange events to prevent gun violence.

Orange is the color that the friends of Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton wore in her honor after she was fatally shot at the age of 15 just one week after performing in President Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade in 2013.

Wearing orange Friday through Sunday is meant to honor the more than 100 lives cut short and the hundreds more wounded by gun violence every day.

Friday is National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Statewide, Illinois Moms Demand Action are making masks, donating food, creating care packages, and spreading the word of Wear Orange.

The Illinois Virtual Field Office is holding a Wear Orange event at 4:30 p.m. Friday for all Illinois residents. The event will include information on how to take action to combat gun violence.

RSVP to local and state events at

Local events include:

  • Arlington Heights — Blood drive at 9:30 a.m. July 11 at Vitalant, 25 W. Rand Road
  • Buffalo Grove — A reverse parade at noon Sunday as part of the 2020 BG Pride Drive
  • Chicago (Hyde Park/South Side) — Wear Orange event/teddy bears in windows at 6 p.m. Sunday. Don orange gear to raise awareness on gun violence prevention. Neighbors are encouraged to go in their front yards, maintaining Centers for Disease Control guidelines for social distancing, including wearing masks.
  • Chicago (Lincoln Square) — Neighborhood display of orange ribbons and fact sheets on trees through June 15.
  • Chicago (Northwest Side) — Paint rocks orange on Friday and cover them with messages that reflect the fight against gun violence. Rocks will be put on the side of trails, paths, and sidewalks to educate about the cause and honor victims and survivors of gun violence.
  • Elmhurst — Virtual members meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (June 3). A speaker from the Gun Violence Prevention Education Center/Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence will update members on the Firearm Restraining Order, which became law last year. Wear Orange event will be going on all week.
  • Geneva — National Gun Violence Awareness Day Interfaith Gathering at 7 p.m. Friday. The Rev. Sharon Risher, author of “For Such a Time as This: Hope and Forgiveness After the Charleston Massacre,” will speak. Risher lost her mother and two cousins in the mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church. She will talk about how a hospital chaplain was thrust into the national spotlight, joining survivors of other gun-related horrors as reluctant speakers for a heartbroken social-justice movement. She said she found a renewed purpose to her life in the company of other survivors. The Wear Orange event is made possible in large part by a grant from the Presbyterian Church (USA) Synod of Lincoln Trails.
  • McLean County — Wear Orange, Be SMART presentations at 7 p.m. Thursday and noon Friday. McLean County Moms Demand Action will have a Wear Orange event to raise awareness that responsible gun storage — storing guns locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition — can save children’s lives. The Be SMART presentation will focus on how to keep kids and communities safer.
  • McLean County — Decorate Orange on Saturday with individuals and community partners decking their porches, front steps, and driveways with orange to support gun violence awareness. Photos will be shared on social media.
  • Metro East — Metro-East Moms Demand Action will be participating in Wear Orange virtually. Choose activities you would like to do, including donating blood, donating to a local food bank or domestic violence shelter, make/wear an orange face mask, decorate your yard/driveway in orange, light up your porch/house in orange or something else. Whatever you do, wear orange while you do it, take pictures and post them to social media before Friday.
  • Oak Park — Wear Orange Survivor Care Packages at 10 a.m. June 13 in the Oak Park-Austin area. Kits will be collected and distributed for children to make memory boxes and self-care packages for mothers. There will be a Facebook group where families can present their boxes and talk about the items that remind them of their lost loved one, tell stories and share. A vigil will also be held virtually.
  • Peoria — A virtual walk will be held Saturday. Walk around your neighborhood wearing orange, take photos and post them to social media. Decorate your yard/driveway/steps/porch with orange. Take photos of your decorations and share them on social media to bring awareness to your neighbors about the gun violence epidemic.
  • Westchester — Weekend event will start at 2 p.m. Friday by organizing donations to a local food pantry and continue with a person-to-pers “get to know you” virtual event.

Other events in Illinois include:

  • Charleston — Events through Friday. Use social media to spread the #wearorange message as windows are decorated with orange hearts, rocks are painted orange, messages are made in chalk, and pictures are taken and posted on social media with #wearorange.