Community Heroes: Amanda Gill, Moms Demand Action - Lewiston
LEWISTON, ID —
Amanda Gill has always been organized. A planner, and a bit of a comedienne. But her newest title - "Hero?" she says, "I've never heard 'hero' and 'Amanda Gill' in a sentence before," - that one's taking some getting used to.
"Make it impossible for them to ignore that we demand reform," Amanda said during the LC Valley's March for our Lives event on March 24th. She spearheaded that effort, the first event for Lewiston's Moms Demand Action chapter, which Amanda started not even a month before the march.
Amanda says, "Moms Demand Action is a nonprofit under the umbrella of Everytown for Gun Sense. It was started by a mother in response to the Sandy Hook shooting."
The local group, one of three now in Idaho, is slowing gaining popularity. They have over 100 Facebook members and are already planning their next programs.
"Teaching kids how to be safe around guns. It's just starting that education portion at school and at home to make sure that accidental shootings don't happen," Amanda says of the Be Smart program, something they hope to work with school administrators to get started in local schools.
The cause is important to Amanda, a mother herself. Her efforts, however, haven't always been met with kindness.
"I've had to block a couple people," she says of negative or even harassing messages on social media.
Instead of meeting the criticism with anger, she's decided to be positive. It's allowed her to teach her children an important lesson in a tough situation.
Amanda says, "Start a discussion...that's like my catch-phrase," she laughs. "Me and one other person are not going to solve the world's problems," she says of trying to get community forums started for those discussions.
Meeting hatred with kindness. It's a lesson we can all learn from, no matter which side you're on. It's why Amanda was nominated as a hero in our community. Not that she thinks she's done anything to deserve it.
"Well, I don't think it's a heroic thing at all. I was just doing a thing that I believe in," she says. Sometimes that's the most heroic thing you can do.