Wear Orange participants are encouraged to wear orange clothing as a show of solidarity against gun violence in their communities. (Photo by Moms Demand Action - MO)

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On Saturday, June 3, Missouri’s gun safety advocates will host a community Wear Orange neighborhood clean-up event in Springfield.

According to Zach Wilson, who is a part of the Drew Lewis Foundation, “Gun violence means a lot to countless individuals.”

Wear Orange was founded on June 2, 2015. This day was what would have been Hadiya Pendleton’s 18th birthday. Her friends started Wear Orange to honor her memory after she was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago.

Today, Pendleton is not the only person Wear Orange honors. The movement honors the more than 120 who are shot and killed in the United States everyday.

Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers organized Wear Orange events across the country in 2023.

In Springfield, the neighborhood clean up will be in Grant Beach at 8 a.m. 

“For the cleanup, there will be a wide array of tasks,” Wilson said, “Being that it is trash clean up, tree limbs clean up, and there will be individuals who are bringing pickup trucks and they will be able to transport old furniture to a degree.”

This event is meant to show what a sense of good can do for a community. 

“When we band together to create long term change, it will impact lives that you didn’t even consider that you were going to impact,” Wilson said. 

It is completely free to participate in the neighborhood clean up. 

“At the very end,” Wison said, “there will be a grill and chill event with hot dogs, ice cream and drinks to thank everyone for participating in this event.”

Carly Randles

Carly Randles is a general assignment intern at the Springfield Daily Citizen. She is a senior at Missouri State University studying journalism, and most recently was the behind the scenes photographer for a film competition. More by Carly Randles