Sunday, December 16, 2012

Have a Heart: From around the world to Newtown

I am still in shock, and disbelief that such evil can exist in our world?  I drove home eyes streaming with tears as I put myself in the shoes of those families, just eleven days before Christmas, who lost their precious angels. I thought of the brave heroes who risked their lives to protect those innocent children.  I thought of the children who will never get to open presents from Santa this Christmas... who will never have their first kiss, their graduation, the chance to make a difference in the world.  It is hard to rationalize that which is not rational.  The breadth and scope of humanity is just a fleeting second, and for those precious gifts of God, much too short.  My heart breaks...
In memory of the recent tragedy in Newtown we are hoping to come together as a community in the thought that “those children are our children” and show the people of Newtown that we are in this together. So many of us watched the news with broken hearts and a feeling of helplesness. Here is the opportunity for all of us to show our love for Newtown, to let them know they are not alone. To let them know as they piece their lives back together that we are there to shed tears with them, prayer with them, and help in any way we can.
Here is what you can do: Cut out a paper heart, decorate it, and write a message of love (positive messages only please). Address them to Hearts of Hope and send one or many and mail them to:
Newtown Congregational Church 
14 West St, Newtown, CT 06470 
First Church Congregational
148 Beach Rd, Ffld CT 06824
This Christmas as I gather with my fiance, his mother, and two step daughters we will make and send these to show our love and support.  We are going to take these hearts and cover Newtown with our love from around the world. We are going to take these hearts and hang them up in local businesses, churches, and banks so that no matter where the people of Newtown go they will be surrounded by love and reminded that from hate rises love and support. That humanity is still very much alive and if we band together with love and hope in our hearts we can accomplish so much more. It really does take a village...
Additionally, it didn't take long for many more generous people to start online fundraisers for the victims and their families.
Here are five online campaigns you can contribute toward right away to help-sandy-hook-victims.  If you know of other online efforts to help the victims, please share them in the comments.
·        Sandy Hook Elementary School Fund: Chris DeLetto of Champaign, Ill., started this fundraiser on Crowdtilt, hoping to raise $50,000 in 30 days.
·        Help for the Sandy Hook Elementary School Families: Razoo's campaign started by Joe Waters is raising money for the Sandy Hook Parent Teachers Association.
·        Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims Relief Fund: This Crowdrise campaign, started by Ryan, is raising money for the school's PTSA organization.
·        Secure Schools: Becky Hoover launched this campaign to get security systems in place in all U.S. schools, including pass-key systems with cameras.
·        Wall of Love: This interactive website, designed following the tragic shooting, wants to show everyone affected by the tragedy that there is more love than hate in the world.
In the last few nights I have read many posts from parents saying they were going to hug their children a little tighter.  I urge us all to cherish the time we have with our loved ones, for we never know what can happen.  May we all find light in this darkness, and may God bless those who so needlessly lost their lives and bring comfort to those still on earth.