Monday, December 17, 2012

I won't be idle with despair

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Please read on to find a list of things that you can do to help the victims of the Sandy Hook Shooting.

I knew on Friday I needed to write something about our recent tragedy.  Writing came easily, but a post that was coherent for other readers did not.

As you may or may not know, we live in Connecticut in the greater community affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy.  I was attempting to watch the Rachael Ray Show on Friday when the local news broke in with preliminary coverage.  I received a couple of phone calls from concerned family members.  My mother wanted to know if this was the elementary school with which I had interviewed on Monday.  (It was not.)  Our local news ran non-stop, commercial-free until late into the evening--I turned it off before I knew how late.

Shootings and national tragedies usually don't happen where I live so although I feel a great sadness for what is lost, I am not so specifically affected.  I felt I needed to do something--I was right there--what could I do?  For the hurricane we knew to send food and clothes--what do we do when this happens?

Other than pray and attend any one of the numerous community vigils, I still don't know.  I have offered myself to the church if a need arises since I currently don't work outside my home.  I am also the sort of person who needs to be there and touch and experience.  (It's why I need open-casket funerals--some of us are just like that.)

So today I drove over to Sandy Hook.  Just a couple of exits down 84.  I was met with a long line of cars and news vans trying to make our way into town.  I saw the sign on the bridge.  The garden of wooden angels we have all seen on the hillside.  I parked and walked to the nearby memorials: piles and piles of candles, flowers, and stuffed animals (probably more stuffed animals than flowers).  Trees decorated with handmade ornaments and strings of paper cranes.  I read the notes and the names and placed my bouquets.

There were so many of us and more arriving as I left.  A group of service dogs has been brought to the site to bring comfort as well.  As I returned home the traffic was stopped on the opposite side of 84.  These are the photos I took.

While our radios continue to play top 40 and normal Christmas music, our DJs bring more news about the children attending a school graciously offered by a neighboring town.  They remind us that their prayers are with the families.  And occasionally they play a song they think is appropriate.  After my visit today one station played Jewel's "Hands".  I thought it was a good choice.

Ways to help victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting:

1. Text your messages of comfort and condolence to 38383: These messages are being posted in print at the site, I saw them.

2. Make a snowflake: The PTA is collecting snowflakes to make a "winter wonderland" for the returning students.  See herePlease make and send snowflakes by January 12, 2013 to the Connecticut PTSA at this address:

Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514

3. Donate money: Here is a list of funds.

Walnut Hill Community Church fund
Other ways to help


  1. Oh my heart aches over this...and you are so close in your new home!

    I was reminded that 4 friends from college actually work for a large church in the area and have been doing counseling non-stop these days. Their church has a fund for financial donations; you can see more here:

    (the 'response via art' link at the bottom is actually by one of my friends, Bryn. He did some of the paintings in our LR)

    Also, this post is being passed around the blogosphere; it was written by a Newtown local and has links on how to help:

    Got your Christmas card btw - thank you so much!!

    1. Walnut Hill! They were doing a theatrical production of It's a Wonderful Life we wanted to go to but none of the times worked for us. Thanks for the additional links. I know I should probably try to pull myself away from things for a bit, but so many lovely tributes, memorials, and acts of kindness are occurring and I want to see and share them all.


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