I’ve met several milestones in the recent months with Lock Arms for Life. I’ve incorporated, filed for nonprofit status, and registered my trademark. I also approved a new site plan for my website. Those are just the internal things, though.
Lock Arms has been hard at work in other ways too. We’re all in our home offices keeping up with media trends, shifting strategies when needed, and finding new ways of reaching our target audience — gun owners. We’ve had 50 placards installed on Austin city busses.
Then, we finally got the partnership with Austin police department. Whoo-hoo — and they gave us 50 gun locks!
Then, came another big accomplishment. I opened the door with United Way. They are an organization with a lot of influence, so getting their approval was a pretty big hurdle to cross. I’d been trying for months to include them in our work.
With that hurdle crossed, they finally agreed to include Lock Arms in their parent and caregiver safety app, Bright by Text. For all you moms and caregivers out there, you might want to check it out. The app is free and sends out tips, resources and information about safety things like bicycle helmets, drowning prevention, car seats, as well as fun activities. Up to now gun safety was never in the messaging. But Lock Arms changed all that!
I learned about their need and jumped into action creating three stay-at-home safety tips. I had help from a retired Texas Senator, too. Here’s a sample text tip:
“Homes are filled with bored and restless children out of school. Tragedies happen, even in homes with responsible parents. Lock Arms for Life suggests a simple gun lock to prevent tragedy.”
Spanish version: “Las casas están llenas de niños aburridos y desesperados sin ir a la escuela. Tragedias suceden, hasta en las casas de padres responsables. Lock Arms for Life sugiere un simple candado de armas para prevenir tragedias.”
Bright by Text ended that message with an offer of a free gun lock to anyone in need. All anyone needed to do was contact me through my website.
Low and behold, a few days after the first message went out I received an email. This sweet mom of 14-month-old son asked for a “free gun safety lock.” She also shared with me that she had read my “about” section on my website. “Your story really touched me,” she wrote. “I lost my father to a gun accident when I was seven years old. I respect the right to own a gun, but accidents happen and gun safety and storage should definitely be a top priority.”
I was so thrilled I almost wet myself. I wish I had a snapshot of the text. But I didn’t. I sent that mom her gun lock, plus a t-shirt and some literature. I placed it in large manila envelope, wore my mask, and took it to my local post office. Lock Arms paid for the postage and hopefully saved a life.
The new world we live in is so different. We are all having to find new ways to reach our audiences. My mom taught me there are always new lessons to be learned. The one I’ve learned through my tragedy, and I’m teaching to others is, “The world needs gun locks more than ever.”
I hope you are well, and that you will reach out with any questions or needs you may have about safety and guns. We all matter, so let’s Lock Arms for Life together.
Congratulations Leesa, i love that your saving lives, being creative and flexible.