It’s hard to believe that a full year has passed since the horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. The feelings of pain, shock and helplessness we all share are still just as raw for many as they were on that December day last year.
Over the past year, we’ve been utterly awe-struck at how our local communities have responded with kindness and love to such a senseless act of violence. We were lucky enough to be able to highlight some of the stories on the 14th of every month – our small tribute to the lives lost.
We talked with a teacher who was in the school that horrible day who is now using kindness as a way to instruct the next generation in love and caring. We talked to a local cop who found a way to use hundreds of little yellow ducks to bring smiles to kids who badly needed to laugh. We met with folks running a local farm using horses to help heal some of the smallest victims and so many other amazing groups. And we didn’t come close to covering all of it.
Stories like these inspire us and prove to us that one person can make a difference. These groups all began with one person’s desire to help, to reach out and to connect. This is a powerful reminder to all of us that we have the capability to make a real difference.
One response in particular has stayed with us – the 26 Acts campaign. The 26 Acts idea was sparked when reporter Ann Curry used Twitter to suggest that everyone perform 26 separate acts of kindness – one to honor every life lost at Sandy Hook Elementary. What an incredible way to turn helplessness and despair into empowerment and hope.
There are plenty of ways you can get involved in giving back to your community. Keeping with the 26 Acts idea, spend 26 hours over the next few months volunteering at Family Centers in their preschool classrooms. Help Community Plates by doing 26 food rescues here in Fairfield County. The American Cancer Society could use your help getting local cancer patients to and from appointments. Get your friends together and make 26 different home-cooked meals for the teen group home at Domus in Stamford. Or forward this blog to 26 friends and come up with your own project. Consider it our challenge to you to keep the goodwill going.
No matter how you choose to send your love to Newtown, we applaud you and thank you. We also encourage you to share how you’re giving back with us on our Facebook & Twitter pages so we can pass it on. Can’t wait to hear from you!