Monday, December 17, 2012

THE WORLD WE LIVE IN: support for sandy hook

There aren't words to describe the fear, anxiety, anger and sadness we all felt Friday morning, as news of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School reached us all. As a parent here in Connecticut, the reports of a possible 2nd shooter on the loose, along with reverse 911 calls letting us know that our schools were going into lock down as well, were terrifying. Knowing how long and scary the day was for us here, I can't even begin to wrap my brain around the terror felt by the parents, teachers and students of Newtown. It is an unimaginable horror.

And it is a horror that isn't going away anytime soon. Students across our state returned to an altered school environment today. One with armed police officers at their doors and a sense of anxiety in the air. Parents put on brave faces as they watched their children climb on the school bus, then broke down in tears as they watched it carry their babies to what we hope is a safe day at school. This morning some area schools were again placed in lockdown as police investigate reports of an armed man in the area. And of course none of this begins to compare with how those in Newtown are feeling. The grief, anger and fear there is monumental, and it is intensified by the overwhelming media presence, ongoing threats to their town and promises from the Westboro Baptist Church to demonstrate their disgusting hate at Sandy Hook vigils and funerals. Here in Connecticut, and across the country, those tragic few minutes on the morning of December 14th will continue to weigh heavily on us and on our children.

So what do we do? How do we move forward?  I don't think any of us have a perfect answer to that. But I am reminded of an article I read on Brains On Fire several months ago. It contained the simple words: "Breath it all in. Love it all out." And really, what else can we do right now? We can't undo Friday. We can't bring back those 26 lives. We can not change what happened. But I can take all these awful feelings and fears I have and recycle them into love. We can all do that. Start simply by hugging your family a little tighter and a little more often. Tell them you love them. Bring that love with you to work, to the store and to the bus stop. Smile, give compliments, help your neighbors. Small gestures go along way, so do something kind for someone else. This morning I sent thank you notes to my children's teachers, letting them know how grateful I was that they are there and caring for my children today. The kids and I brought cookies to the crossing guard at the end of our street. Tomorrow we will bring a Box of Joe to our police department.  Does this sound trivial and silly in the face of what happened Friday? Yeah, probably. But love begets love, and these small kindnesses will hopefully multiply and leave many people in our community feeling loved and cared for. We are all in this together and now, more than ever, is a time to take care of one another.

Breathe it all in. Love it all out.

In addition to these small acts of kindness, please consider making a donation to support the Sandy Hook Elementary School community. A few suggestions:

Tulaloo has designed a new collection - titled "Breathe Love" - and 100% of your purchase price will be donated directly to the school. All donations will be used to provide gift cards to allow school administrators and teachers to purchase supplies and materials to spruce up the temporary school they are moving into and make it feel warm and welcoming as the students return. You can purchase 8x8 posters and note card sets here.

If you would like to donate to the purchase of gift card but do not want to purchase a poster or note cards, please use this link:

And finally, if you would prefer to support the families of the victims, rather than the school, please consider donating to My Sandy Hook Family Fund.

Thank you!

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