Heidi Yewman’s Passion is for Gun Violence Prevention
In April 1999, Heidi Yewman arrived home with her one-year old and saw kids running out of her high school on CNN. Thirteen people were murdered that day, including Dave Sanders, Heidi’s basketball coach.
A few weeks later she attended the memorial service at Columbine High School and was struck by a powerful urge to do something, which ultimately led her to the Million Mom March held a year later in Washington DC and subsequently to a board position on the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, where she works on public policy designed to keep kids safe from guns. Heidi also wrote a book about the devastating impact of gun violence, Beyond the Bullet.
Heidi has been active in her home state with organizations like Nonprofit Network of Southwest Washington, a local giving circle, but she wanted to expand her network of philanthropists and activists.
“There is a limit to what I can do through the giving circle. I’m excited to meet other people that share my values,” said Heidi. “I want to learn about organizations I don’t know about, and to be more strategic…I need a better way of finding organizations that need help,” said Heidi.
Heidi likes to fund projects that she can see the results of, and that help people directly. A recent investment was in the Asking Saves Kids Campaign; a campaign that places billboard ads asking parents to ensure that their kids are safe in the places they play and spend time.
“The billboards ask if there are guns in the homes of their friends, and if so, whether the gun is locked up,” said Heidi.
One of Heidi’s favorite organizations is the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP), where she was a volunteer and served on the board. She loves TIP because she was able to experience the direct impact of her investment with them. Heidi funded the training of the volunteers that keep families and friends company while waiting for transport of remains after a loved one has passed on.
“They ensure that people don’t sit by themselves with dead bodies until funeral homes can come pick them up,” said Heidi. “They do emotional CPR.”
Heidi is a mother of two, a writer, and activist. She lives in Vancouver, Washington, and in her spare time, Heidi plays competitive tennis, runs and spends a lot of time at coffee shops with her husband Dave.