PRICE HILL, OH (FOX19) - Community partners in Price Hill have joined forces to launch a Gifts for Guns-Gun Buy Back Initiative as part of the Ceasefire Stop the Violence campaign on Martin Luther King Day.
This campaign has been established as one of many efforts to combat and address the senseless violence that is plaguing the city of Cincinnati.
People could bring in any operable guns from their homes and neighborhoods in exchange for $100 gift cards (to Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger and Meijer), without any questions being asked. The cards were purchased with donations from private donors and corporations throughout the area.
"The main goal of the future and the reason for such programs and initiatives is to stop violence. The world is addicted to violence and it has become big business to bury young lives. Anything we can do to curb this trend is a step in the right direction," said Pastor Michael Scruggs of Light of the World Ministries and sponsor of a similar campaign in 2007.
Project Nehemiah Ceasefire is dedicated to removing the guns and reducing the future of violence from the lives of the children and youth in our communities. Over the past 18 months and through various initiatives, Cincinnati Police Department, District Three, in partnership with community representatives, has achieved success in reducing not only violent crime, but overall crime. This program is an opportunity to build on that success.
FOX19 spoke with Andrew Farie, an employee of BLOC Ministries, who works with at-risk youth in the Price Hill neighborhood.
"Last year we had a kid I've known, probably most of the time I've lived here, and he was shot just around the corner and that was a pretty big deal," said Farie. "It pretty much shattered the whole community. Because it affected his family, his friends, and there was just a hole in everyone's heart from it. It was really heartbreaking."
That victim was 17 year-old Deone Tye. His murder happened just steps from where the gun buy-back took place Monday.
Farie says anything that can be done to make the streets safer for the kids he mentors, "is a good thing."
The guns were professionally dismantled, and turned in to Cincinnati Police.