“My dad would impress gun safety on us until it was annoying,” Chuck Farmer recalls. Now, almost two decades later, Chuck is teaching the importance of firearms safety, with help from the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program and the Fredrick 4H Club.
Chuck started volunteering with the program in September of 2012 when he became more involved with his son’s 4H Club. The club attend events like Agriculture Week at the Fredrick Mall, the county fair, and the Great American Outdoor Show, spreading Eddie’s message to youth and families all around the surrounding areas.
But that wasn’t always the case.
The club partnered up with the Fredrick County Sherriff’s Office just a few years ago in an effort to expand the outreach of the program. Until then, law enforcement officers taught the program at local schools. But when Chuck approached them about having Eddie Eagle come to Agriculture Week at the Frederick Mall, Sheriff Charles A. Jenkins was more than happy to help. “I support the Eddie Eagle Program 100% and I think it’s wonderful,” shared Jenkins.
Now, volunteers and Eddie can be seen at these events all over Frederick County. The sheriff’s office provides assistance with the Eddie Eagle mascot while the club members help by passing out Eddie Eagle workbooks and stickers to the children. Members explain what the Eddie Eagle Program is and emphasize Eddie’s GunSafe message: STOP! Don’t touch. Run away. Tell a grown-up. Then they quiz attendees before rewarding them with program materials.
“Ultimately we could be saving one of these kids’ lives. And that’s why I do it,” Chuck says.
Due to the efforts from folks like Chuck and the members of the 4H Club, Eddie Eagle has been able to reach over 29 million children.
The Eddie Eagle Program relies heavily on its national grassroots network of volunteers to promote and teach the program in their communities. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program or think your organization or club could partner well with the program, please contact us at [email protected] or call (800) 231-0752