As I sat down to compile the weekly ‘To Do’ list, I just could not do it. I honestly could not summon the will to yammer on about concerts and gallery openings. It still feels too superficial and silly. This is problematic because arts-related yammering is a lot of what I do for the Atlas.
Maybe it’s because I’m a mom, but I seriously doubt that the catastrophe in Newtown, Conn. has hit me any harder than anyone else. So many people, whether they are pontificating on Facebook or at the dinner table, are aching and feel the need to do something.
And so for this week’s ‘To Do,’ I am taking a slightly different direction, rather than tell you how to entertain yourself this weekend, I’m offering up suggestions on how you can take action on-behalf of the community of Newtown.
If you wish to offer financial help:
- There is My Sandy Hook Family Fund, set up by parents of surviving Sandy Hook students to assist the victims’ families with expenses. http://www.MySandyHookFamilyFund.com/
- The United Way has started the Sandy Hook School Support Fund to also help pay for expenses, counseling and other services. Donations can be mailed to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main St., Newtown, Conn. 06470. More information: https://newtown.uwwesternct.org/
- The family of Sandy Hook principal, Dawn Hochsprung, created a memorial fund for this brave educator, who died trying to stop the gunman. Donations can be sent to: Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Memorial Fund, CT Teachers Credit Union, P.O. Box 2121, Waterbury, Conn. 06722.
- There are memorial pages set up for students Olivia Engel, Dylan Hockley, Emilie Parker, Noah Pozner, and Benjamin Wheeler and teacher Victoria Soto
- You can also donate to the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness: http://www.namidc.org/
You can also sign a national sympathy card here: www.causes.com/actions/1715318
If you tweet you can join journalist Ann Curry in her efforts to encourage the Twitterverse to engage in 26 acts of kindness in memory of the victims of Sandy Hook. Use the hashtag #26 to spread the love.
If you want to take action on behalf of kids in your own neighborhood there are plenty of opportunities:
- Homeless Children’s Playtime Project which has biweekly play dates at the DC General Shelter: http://www.playtimeproject.net/sites.php
- Kid Power DC: http://www.kidpowerdc.org/volunteer2
- Little Lights Urban Ministries: http://www.littlelights.org/
- The Perry Center: http://www.perryschool.org/
- Be a student mentor: https://www.studentmentor.org/mentor/register/standard
Or check out Greater DC Cares for more ideas: http://www.greaterdccares.org/
Finally, the kids from Sandy Hook will be going to a new school building, and the PTA would like to make it into a Winter Wonderland. They are asking for people to send snowflakes to Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514, by January 12, 2013. More info: http://newtown.patch.com/announcements/help-our-sandy-hook-pta-family. I plan on recruiting my kids to make and send a snowflake.
It’s a tiny gesture. Nothing can change what happened, but it is something.