I found out about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings via Twitter
The brain’s a funny thing- the whole time I saw reports come across my feed, I was thinking in the back of my mind, “This can’t be real right?” “Doesn’t this kind of stuff only happen in big budget action movies?”. I’m still struggling to come to grips with the situation. Incomprehensible.
So I did what I always do when faced with a problem- I write. But the words wouldn’t come.
Because anything I said would probably just end up being a rehash of what the media had already said, so why add to the chaos? And you can only throw around the words “tragedy” and “massacre” so many times before they start to lose their impact. So I resisted.
And then- an epiphany. In a parking lot of all places.
But then, Monday rolled around and I was dropping my daughter off at school. And it hit me- my daughter’s a first grader. And so were those kids. Holy shit. That’s when it all hit home. And I went back to my car, grabbed the steering wheel and let the tears flow. I wanted to go back in and yank her into the car and keep her there forever. But alas………….
Yet I haven’t read or heard much about the kids left behind.
The ones who heard the screams and gunshots over the intercom. The ones who saw their friends and teachers shot. The ones who were terrified beyond comprehension and lay shaking in a closet or bathroom, hoping beyond hope they didn’t die too. NO kid should have to deal with that. They’re living through their own personal hell. RIGHT NOW.
And they’re all just babies. Yes, no matter how old, they’re ALWAYS your babies.
I was overcome with wanting to help the Sandy Hook survivors
But I didn’t want to just throw money at another cause. Don’t get me wrong- the money will help the community. But money won’t help these kids who are grieving over friends and teachers. Who are scared shitless that the one place that is supposed to be safe and secure ISN’T.
And then I stumbled onto a site called Hugs for Sandy Hook.
The one sentence mission statement says it all- “In order to show solidarity with the victims of the recent tragedy in Newtown, CT, we are raising money to send teddy bears by Christmas to those affected”.
And I had my second epiphany of the day- THIS was how I would help the Sandy Hook survivors.
You see, I have ZERO concept of how it feels to lose someone you love desperately, let alone your child (OH MY GOD, it makes me physically ill just thinking about it).
But I know how comforting “loveys” are to kids. You see, my daughter has a Tigger pillow she’s had since she was 1. She may not carry Tigger around any more, but he’s always close by, and she sleeps with him at night. It’s the one item that has moved on as she grew older.
And my son carries around a monkey that he NEVER puts down. When we need to wash Monkey, it’s a struggle and a feat of trickery that would rival Houdini. When he gets worked up, or starts to have a meltdown, we just hand him Monkey. He calms right down.
That’s what these kids need.
Their own loveys to help them cope. To accept their squeezes. To accept their tears. Someone they can talk to without fear of judgment or ridicule.
So I made a donation so they can go buy teddy bears.
Some may think this is all a load of crap. I say screw ’em. I KNOW this will make a profound difference in the lives of these children.
The group has set a goal of $10,000 by this Friday (they want to deliver by Christmas) and they are a third of the way there. I’m including the link to their site if you too want to help the Sandy Hook survivors- http://www.indiegogo.com/HugsforSandyHook.