“We have to turn this sadness into action”. – President Obama
20 days ago on December 14th 2012 a small town in Connecticut was marveled by the disgusting acts of a man at Sandy Hook Elementary School where children 5-11 went to learn. This location now serves as a MASS murder crime scene.
Following the holiday break, classes resumed Thursday Jan 3rd 2013 for the students of the Newtown school where a gunman last month burst in and killed 20 children and 6 adults before killing himself. It was deemed as the second largest school shooting in U.S. history.
With their school still being observed as a crime scene, the estimate of 400 students of Sandy Hook Elementary School attended classes in a neighboring town at a new school where the police chief deemed it the “safest school in America”.
To not scare the kids or bring them stress the desks, posters, backpacks and furniture from Sandy Hook was brought in to give the kids a “homey” feel at their new location.
One father, Vinny Alvarez, said he wasn’t worried about his 8-year-old daughter going back to school. He said she got to pick out a stuffed animal to take home from the school library following the tragedy and she loves it. Children cope differently so things like stuffed animals help them through out their day.
“The fear kind of kicks back in a little bit, but we’re very excited for her and we got to see many, many kids today,” Alvarez said. “The atmosphere was very cheerful.”
The school district said parents who wanted to be close to their children were welcome to visit and stay in classrooms or an auditorium throughout the day for peace of mind.
Now, as the community regroups, organizations are setting up ways to help through donations, care and support.
An official fund for victims’ families, & the community as an entity, has now been established: The Sandy Hook School Support Fund, set up by the United Way of Western Connecticut will offer support services to families as well as the community. All donations to this fund will go directly to those affected.
“The Red Cross has also been on the ground, offering food and water to affected families and first responders, and providing more than 50 units of blood to Danbury hospital where some of the victims were transported. They have set up a center for emergency grief counseling – and more than 100 Red Cross workers, including mental health professionals, are on the ground in Newtown helping to support the community. The Red Cross stresses it has what it needs to support efforts in Newtown, and is asking that those wishing to donate to families and the community, direct their contributions to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund”.
Some private funds have also been set up in the wake of the tragedy to help victims. The Newtown Memorial Fund is taking donations for the families and the community affected, and is also actively and thankfully recruiting volunteers and offers of help of all sorts.
Individual Facebook pages and websites have also been set up to help the families of Emilie Parker (6), Olivia Rose Engel (6), Noah Pozner (6), and Daniel Barden (7), who were killed at Sandy Hook. If you want to make donations please search them on Facebook.
The band OneRepublic has also started a fund to raise money for those affected. Their goal was $50,000 and today its at $87,000 and growing! You can find details on how to donate to OneRepublic’s fund by clicking here.
The organization ‘Lutheran Church Charities’ has sent a team of ‘comfort dogs’ to the community. Chewie, Hannah, Barnabas and others will be visiting students, attending funerals and memorial services. You can donate to help support the Dogs’ visit to Newtown here. This is a great and subtle way the children can feel safety and a companion at the same time!
Although it didn’t hit here in California it could have and as the next generation up to bat, I encourage every one of us to donate and do something. Send a bag of stuffed animals, crayons, money, even a letter. These children are our future and it takes a village. We need to be a stronger village. Show them good outweighs the bad in this world.
Blessings and peace to us all.