Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary: #26acts #momentofsilence and more

I was at Disneyland last Friday with my family and came out that evening to the horrific news of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut. 20 children killed?! All in 1st grade, all ages 6 or 7?! Six adults tried to stop it and paid with their lives?! It was (is) an unbearable sadness for me and I felt like I had no right to feel it so deeply.

This is not my tragedy. But in spite of the fact I live a counrty away, and I know none of the victims, It is a tragedy that has hit me hard. I have a first grader. I was horrified and so, with most of the country and world, I have cried and mourned with those families whose tragedy we are all watching unfold. I have deeply felt this tragic loss and this horrific event has made me really stop and take a step back.

I cannot imagine the pain these families are going through. I thought first of the kids themselves and what they went through-of the teachers and principal and how hard they tried to stop this man and paid with their lives. I thought of the parents of these babies that were taken (and then I thought they probably hate me calling them babies-I know my 6 year old would!), I thought of those poor siblings of those children, particularly of the ones that experienced the terror of being in that school. I thought of the spouses and boyfriends and parents and siblings of those adults that went to work and never left. I thought of the teacher who is out on maternity leave and just lost her entire class and her substitute. Everytime I think I am done crying, another person or another thought brings me to tears.

I WANT to hear what the parents and families of the children want to say about their kids-about every one of those kids because they all deserve to get their child's story out in their own words! I want to honor those 26 people we lost in Sandy Hook Elementary school on Friday, December 14, 2012.

There is nothing I can do. Nothing will make this better or fix this for those families, but we as a country can honor them and remember them. We can be kinder and more loving to each other and we can work together to figure out how to stop this from happening again!

Here are some things you and I can do to help:

Fisrt, USA Today has a list compiled with ways to help here. It is good and has a lot of options. Please know that Noah Pozner's (a 6 year old victim) family has warned that there are FAKE funds being set up and be careful. I like this list because it has what families have said are legit places to donate. Please read this article about the scams. It gives great info on how to check and make sure you are dontating to a legit place!

Second, The Connecticut PTSA (Parent, Teacher, & Student Association) has some ideas on their website on how to help. The thing getting the most attention (because it is actually something we can all DO to try to make life easier for the surviving 600+ Sandy Hook students when they return to class in January) is a Snowflake drive (I guess). You make snowflakes and send them to the Connecticut PTSA who will put them up all over the new school so when students return they will return to a winter wonderland. I love this idea because I think there will be enough snowflakes to cover the school in white. Beautiful and peaceful for those students! My kids and I will be making and sending snowflakes this week!

The PTSA website says "Make and send snowflakes to Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514, by January 12, 2013."

Third, Ann Curry tweeted shortly after this terror that we should all commit to doing 20 random acts of kindness for others in honor of the 20 children slain. Responses noted that the teachers were also heroes and the 20 acts quickly became 26 acts and now it has gone viral. You and I can commit to doing #26acts of Kindness to honor those killed in Sandy Hook Elementary school. Please read more about that here or just type #26Acts into Twitter and see all the good that has been happening! I am going to do #26Acts!

Last, there is a movement for a national #momentofsilence tomorrow (Friday 12/21) at 9:30am est for a minute. Many, many websites are going silent/dark during that time. Although I cannot get the neato widget to work and to display that I am going dark. I will be sharing in the Moment of silence. My blog will be silent, and I too will be silent. As my kids and I prepare for them to go to school (it will be 7:30 am here), we will stop and silently honor those children and adults from Sandy Hook.

There is nothing I can to to fix this, but I hope all the families of the lovely children and brave women killed will feel the love and support of those that grieve with them. I hope acts of kindness can help those that need some love, and I hope to help make the world a better place in some small way by trying to be the best me I can be.

Will you join with me to honor these people? Are there other things we can do that I have not listed? If so, please feel free to post your ideas as a comment after this post!

One more thing, one of the young victims, Emily Parker, was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as am I. This article is about her stake president (one of our clergy) and how he was able to attend to her family as this tragedy unfolded. It is a beautiful (I highly recommend reading it)and I will steal from it a quote by Abraham Lincoln to end this post:
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.


Andrea said...

Beautiful post, Beckee-thanks for sharing!