Thursday, December 20, 2012

Just ONE Thing- A Call For Action Amid the Heartache

*12/22/12- Just a note...  I have read several news articles this morning where the community of Newtown is asking for no more toy or monetary donations.  They have been overwhelmed by the generous support of people in this country and all over the world.  They actually have a surplus of donations and will give back to other communities in light of that. <3  They are asking that people who still wish to make a contribution to please do toy, book, monetary, etc donations to their own communities in memory and honor of the victims of the tragic Sandy Hook shootings.  Also, see my suggestions below for non-monetary ways to show support and send comfort to Newtown. Thank you...

The tragic events in a small Connecticut town of almost a week ago touched just about every heart and soul in this country.  As a mother, that day rocked me to my very core.  
I wept.  
I held my sweet baby girl close.  
I called my son the minute he was out of school as he was going out of town with his father for the weekend immediately after school.
That night sleep would not find me.
I tossed and turned thinking of those heartbroken parents standing in the doorways of empty bedrooms staring at empty beds with aching hearts.
I thought of those poor sweet children's lifeless bodies alone and cold in that school.
I wanted to run to them all and put my arms around them and just cry with them.

It has been less than a week, but people all across the country have been coming together to do what they can to help those grief stricken families of Sandy Hook.  I have seen quite a few prominent media personnel coming forward to say they will only speak the names of the victims of this horrific act so that 10, 20 years down the road it will be those names that we will remember and not the name of the one who took their young, innocent lives.  These things have made me feel proud and honored to be a part of such a compassionate and empathetic nation because there have been many times recently when I have questioned this country and the direction our collective humanity has been travelling in....

Recently I have seen a few beautiful and heartfelt movements and projects popping up on my various social media timelines, and I have been favoriting and bookmarking every single one that I have come across.  All simple acts of love and that require very little out of your wallet.  Just a little of your time and maybe a quick trip to the post office in exchange for putting a little more good and love out into the universe.
I urge you all to try to get involved with at least one of these...  If you don't think that you can because it is just too much, then you need to read THIS POST from a mother whose son survived the Sandy Hook shooting.

Paper Hearts Across America- This now national movement started in a Montana classroom.  Students, teachers, mothers, & fathers are making and sending paper hearts to the grieving families of Sandy Hook.  

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook- In an effort to decorate the entire school as a winter wonderland when the Sandy Hook students return, the Connecticut PTSA is asking for donations of handmade snowflakes.  Jamielyn's post has a simple tutorial for making snowflakes from white coffee filters.  I am actually hosting a snowflake making party with some of my girlfriends & family over the winter break to help with this.

26 Acts of Kindness- A national movement sparked by a tweet from Ann Curry, people all over the country are committing to 26 acts of kindness in honor of the 26 lives that were lost in just a few short minutes last week.  This is such a beautiful idea to continue to pay forward the kindness, to not let the tragedy of that day overshadow the beauty and light each of these children and teachers exuded during their lifetimes.  CLICK HERE for a list of 26 Acts of Kindness you can do right now.  :)

We Can Read Book Donations- This was started by an assistant professor at Slippery Rock University after watching an interview of one of the fathers of the shooting victims.  He talked about how excited his daughter had been about recently learning to read and wanting to share that with her younger siblings.  The idea is simple- buy a book, read it with your children, and then donate it to a local library or school.  This is a fabulous idea for starting a book drive in your local area.  

Send a Letter of Condolence to Newtown- The United States Postal Service has set up a post office box just for individuals wanting to send kind words and condolences to the Newtown community.  We all could send just one letter, right?

#HowImHelpingCT- A kind gesture from my blogger friend, Brin at Bold Butter Baby.  Just tweet what you are doing to help those affected by the shootings at Sandy Hook, no matter how big or how small, (Need ideas?  Look ^^^ above!) using the hashtag #HowImHelpingCT and she will donate 5 cents for each and every tweet now through this Sunday, December 23rd.

Comfort for Connecticut- Project Sweet Peas and Forever My Sweet Pea are putting together 20 Memory Bags to send to the parents of the young children who lost their lives.  They are looking for vendors and crafters who would be willing to donate keepsake items for the bags, as well as donations to help them purchase items that will go into each bag.  
*Project Sweet Pea's President was a great comfort to me after my second miscarriage. She met with me several times, offered friendship, and gave me a keepsake memory box to remember my sweet angels with.  

Delivering Cheer to Newtown- The bloggers at The Chirping Moms are wanted to bring Newtown children and teachers cheer in the New Year.  They are asking for donations of cheerful cards & pictures, thank you cards for teachers, classroom decorations, new toys and books, crafting supplies, etc.  Just click the link to find out how you can get involved with this and where to send donations.

For Bloggers-
Cookies & Crafts for Sandy Hook- On Friday, December 21st, bloggers are uniting to post a cookie recipe or craft post to honor the victims of Sandy Hook.  Small shop owners are also linking up to donate a percentage of their proceeds from sales tomorrow or over the weekend to the Newtown Youth & Family Services.  If you are a small shop owner, you can still link up your business through today- just click the link! 

Honoring Sandy Hook Linky Party- The Grant Life and her blogger friends have teamed up for this generous linky party to donate $1 for every December post linked up from today through the next 7 days!  How awesome is this?  If you are a blogger, click the link above and link up some of your favorite posts from this past month.  All money raised will go to the United Way of Newtown, Connecticut.  

I urge each of us to choose just ONE thing, just ONE simple act.  It probably won't end with just that one act.  Even if you do nothing else, you may be the spark for another person to pass on the love, the kindness.  Let the loss of their beautiful lives not be in vain.  

Much love to each and every one of you...