We have all been shaken by recent events in Connecticut. I'm a parent of a first grader, and I'll be a student teacher in a first grade classroom in January. My husband is a firefighter. This event was so close to me it has been overwhelming. I couldn't look or let go of PJ all weekend.
When Monday morning came I didn't hesitate sending my girls to school though. If my kids can't be in the safety of my arms, their school is the safest place for them to be. Nobody cares for our children like their teachers. Teachers at Sandy Hook showed us that. It's something I will never forget, and something I really took to heart.
I am in Oregon and have struggled with wanting to help but feeling far away. However, in recent days there have been a few opportunities I just had to share. I can't think of a better way to help the families in this community.
The Connecticut PTA is doing some wonderful things for Sandy Hook. You can check out their web page here.
Sandy Hook students will not be returning to their school. They are fortunate to have a middle school 8 miles away that will be their new home. The PTA wants to welcome them to their new school with a winter wonderland, and are asking for snowflakes. Can you think of anything more beautiful than for students to walk into a school filled with millions of snowflakes, everywhere? It feels magical to me and it's a simple way to make an impact. It's a simple way to put your arms around those kids. Imagine if each snowflake represented a hug.
I will say that my girls are blissfully unaware of the recent events. I couldn't think of how to approach the subject. I didn't know what to say. I'm going to tell them that some kids back East are getting a new school and need a warm welcome, and that's probably it.
If either of them ask me about the event, should they hear about it, I intend to answer their questions without offering too much information. May they remain innocent about the evils of the world.
The CT MOMS club also has an idea you can support; they want to build a memorial park for the victims. You can check out those details here.
Lastly is something I saw right away that made so much sense to me I immediately tackled the cave that is my messy craft room. Damask Love is putting together craft kits for the kids. I know what crafting does for me, so I can only hope that giving kids an opportunity to create art will do much for their soul, and I'm so happy to be able to contribute. I stuffed a box full of my stash. I have kits that were filled with mini alphas that I never used. I think kids would love that. I have beautiful papers from my favorite manufacturers that I've been hoarding since 2008 that really needed a loving home, and what greater love than the art of a child? Amber's goal was 50 kits, but if she gets boxes like the one I'm sending, she will be able to far surpass that goal. Help her out!
Embrace the magic of the season of giving. Hug your families close.
ETA: The brilliant Ann Curry has also come up with a great way for all of us to contribute, to heal, and to make the world a better place. It's called #26acts. Make a list. Do something nice. Pay it forward. 26 acts of kindness. It is already being reported on the local news. All over the country, people are participating in 26 acts of kindness, and are the recipients also. How wonderful! It makes paying for the drink behind you in the Starbucks line, only to discover that the single driver had ordered two triple shot venti caramel macchioto's a little more bearable, lol!