In the past I would put out a blog post once every other week. The writing is therapeutic for me and gives me a good outlet but it is also very time consuming. I made the executive decision to take a short break. We have had a busy few months which made it tough to keep up with everything. This blog is an update on what we have been up to as an organization. From the beginning of February to the first part of March we were on the road for our annual BB Gun Tour for the Boat and Sportsman shows. We started in Eugene, headed to Roseburg, then to Medford, and lastly Anderson California. It was the first shows that we had done since the beginning of the pandemic. It was nice to get back to work and to do what we do best, outreach to the kids. We were able to reach an estimated 2500 kids through the 4 shows. This tour gave us the funding that we really needed to get back out and reach kids.
The next weekend after the show season ended, we hopped a flight to the islands of Hawaii. We had classes once again set up on Oahu and on the Island of Maui. It was nice to be able to have a few days on Oahu to actually be a tourists. We were able to explore the entire island. I fell in love with the spirit of Hawaii. The people are so wonderful and supportive of what we are doing to help protect their “keiki” (kids.) The gun laws in Hawaii are very restrictive so it makes kids firearm safety challenging to say the least. When guns are highly regulated the likelihood that the parents educate their kids goes down. This puts the lives of their children at risk. Our trips to the Islands were laying the groundwork to starting a KSF chapter there. They need our help and we are happy to lend our support. We did a few classes at our friend Bob Smith’s dojo. This was our second time there. The kids that joined us we great and we ended up going over 25,000 kids reached with the kids that joined us there. It was a huge accomplishment and milestone. What originally started as an idea is now something that has made a huge impact in the lives of children all over the country. It is my belief that if given the opportunity our program can change the face of safety in our country.
We spent a few days on Oahu. Then we island hopped to the island of Maui. I’ve only had the privilege of visiting Hawaii twice, both on business but my favorite place is Maui. It is more laid back and we have a great “Ohana” (family) there. I really like being called uncle by the kids. Everyone is so friendly and supportive of us. We had the opportunity to stay at a very special place. Our host was a local business woman that had the most beautiful home. We were thankful for her hospitality. The wisdom that she shared with was amazing. We found ourselves everyday rushing to get our work done so we could sit with her and “talk story.” It was truly a highlight of the trip. We spent a few days ahead of our classes in preparation for the upcoming events. We had 10 classes scheduled in 3 days. It was jammed packed, all while our partners from the DC Project and the Hawaii Youth Livestock Association prepared for a luau that was a fundraiser for all 3 organizations.
As the first day of classes arrived I was nervous. When the kids showed up it all went away. We started with our Kids Firearm Safety 1 Class. Then transitioned to the range for the Kids Firearm Safety 2 Class. We had many repeat families from the last time we were there. It was fun to see the growth in their families. It made for some long days on the range, but we had a solid group of volunteers dedicated to the mission of saving lives. The range had been renovated since we were there last with vast improvements were made. It was impressive and gave us a comfortable and safe place to learn. There is a stark contrast in the children from the kids of Hawaii and those from the mainland. Mostly in the discipline aspect. These kids are so respectful and eager to learn. The families all did well and we were thankful for their support. We did face some challenges but we always learn from the experiences. This is how we continue to improve on the processes that we have put in place, mainly for safety and child involvement.
We finished the trip with a luau that benefited Kids S.A.F.E. Foundation Hawaii, DC Project and the Hawaii Youth Livestock Association. It was a live auction and dinner that was open to many different members of the local community. I had the privilege of giving a speech to the 250 people that were in attendance. It was nice for Vicki and I to get appreciated for the work that we put in to make this all possible. The next day we hopped a flight home. Refreshed and tired from our travels.