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How to Help the Families of Newtown

My friend, JessieLeigh, whom I’ve known online for years and finally had the privilege of meeting in real life a couple of months ago, emailed me yesterday and said:

Just wanted to pass along the link to a post I wrote on some of the hows and whys to help those impacted by the devastation in Newtown, CT that occurred on Friday. I live about 20 minutes from Sandy Hook. Our son’s cardiologist is two blocks from the school. My husband was IN that school less than an hour before the shooting– our community is, like the whole nation, reeling.

Find her post here with links to some ways you can help. I also wanted to share this section of her post because I thought it was so important:

I want to address a comment I read on one of the “ways to help” articles I read. An individual wrote,

Not to be a jerk, but, other than funeral costs, why do they need money? I mean, a hurricane that wipes out a town, sure. But they’re gone. Why are we giving money?

Now, I’m not saying that person is a jerk. But I do want to gently mention some reasons why these families might need money, beyond funeral costs. Even assuming all repairs, relocations, and what-not are subsidized federally somehow, there will be needs…

  • These families, teachers, first responders, and the community at large will need counseling. Likely plenty of it.
  • Mothers and fathers will miss work. Some will not be paid for that time. Incomes will suffer.
  • Budgets will bend and break as people who typically are very careful simply cannot be. Homemade meals may not get made. Coupons may not get clipped. Grace should be given.
  • People will need to travel. Out-of-town family members who never expected to buy last-minute plane tickets for a child’s funeral right before Christmas will toss down the plastic because, really, what do you do?? You pay now, worry later. This is just the scenario where that happens.
  • Children will need comfort. The surviving students? Will still have to go to school. They’ll be relocated into unfamiliar places. As a community, we’ll want to do anything and everything we can to provide comfort and security to them.

So… did a tornado physically tear this town apart? No. The trees and buildings still stand.

But the people… oh, the people are broken. And it’s going to take time, prayer, and helping hands to start that healing process.

Read her full post here. And if you know of other ways we can help, please leave a comment and let us know!

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19 Comments

  • Thank you Crystal! I have been wondering the best way to help.

  • Kelley H says:

    Please check out Ricochet, the Surfice Dog on Facebook. She is collecting money
    To send every student an angel bear stuffed animal for comfort.

    Project Linus is sending 800 comfort blankets to the
    school. Please consider helping.

  • Joe Landreneau says:

    In Alexandria, Louisiana, school children are decorating tiles to be delivered to Newtown in the hopes that a wall can be constructed as a reminder of thoughts and prayers for the victims and survivors of the shooting.

    Here is a link to the facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NewtownMemorialAlexandria?fref=ts

    For more questions, please send emails to the address provided above.

  • A fellow blogger pointed me to Ayden’s Foundation of Hope. This was started by a family who lost their 3 year old son and know what it feels like to lose a child. They will be sending care packages and financial gifts to the families who lost children in the shooting. I appreciate that everything they do is based on Scripture, and I have no doubt that they will be sharing Scripture with the families as well as the material provisions. You can donate to their ministry to assist them as they minister to these families.

  • Mindy says:

    If you knit or crochet, Snappytots has a really great outreach program going on immediately to make hats for the kiddos in need. They are asking people make the hats in a green that matches the schools colors. Info below:
    http://snappytots.blogspot.com/2012/12/beanies-for-brave-students.html

  • Dianna says:

    Well said. I think that some don’t realize the financial burden involved until they have been in a situation where a loved one passes. Multiply that by the magnitude of this tragic situation and a large amount of money will be needed to help so many.

  • Nancy says:

    Thank you for posting this, Crystal. These are such important facts and reminders of how much need there is and will continue to be – even financially for Newtown survivors.

  • SMS says:

    Thanks for spelling it out for me. I didn’t see the need before either.

    • Kathy says:

      Me too. I didn’t realize all the secondary financial costs associated with a tragedy like this. I don’t feel that the person quoted was small-minded, just didn’t realize and was genuinely asking.

      Praying mightily for healing for all.

      • JessieLeigh says:

        I felt like it was a genuine question too, Kathy, and realized that a lot of people might be wondering the same thing. I think being here more in the midst of it makes the needs more easily apparent, so I wanted to try to answer it. I hope I didn’t give the impression that I thought the original “asker” was a bad person in any way!

  • Christa says:

    Thank you for posting this. My heart aches for these people and everyone should be just as tender towards this horrible tragedy. I can’t imagine being in their shoes. Instead of watching their little ones open gifts on Christmas day they’re planning funerals. My prayers are continually with them.

  • K says:

    Have there been any types of organizations started to fund more security for schools? I do think the families should get good amounts of money as well (I’m positive they will) but to keep this kind of thing from happening again more security needs to be apparent in schools. With budgets the way they are, I know plenty of people who complain about paying a $10 towel fee each year let alone security fees for a public school.

  • cherie says:

    I was led to a post yesterday by someone who lives in Newtown, and there was a link which led me to a ‘helping’ page – as a result I did make a donation to the United Way fund established for those in need there – and I totally agree with you – think of any crisis in your life. One of the results in MY life is always that there’s a budget hit – even if I just get the flu!
    We just lived through Hurricane Sandy and while I did not suffer any major permanent damage because of it, we had no heat or power for almost 2 weeks and there was definitely money spent that made me grateful for my EF. I can only imagine how long it will take those suffering in Newtown right now to find even some small sense of normalcy – counseling will help, but it it will still take time – and all your reasons are excellent as causes for support.

  • Jenny in UT says:

    Friends and family will be helping out too in Northern Utah. There will be a benefit this Saturday.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/505061379533724/

  • Julie says:

    Although these are not big, it looks as though a radio station a little ways away from Newtown is collecting handmade snowflakes for the children of Sandy Hook elementary for when they return to a new school after the new year. Here is the link:
    http://991thewhale.com/snowflakes-for-sandy-hook-elementary-school-students/
    Also Ann Curry (the journalist) is encouraging 26 acts of kindness for the victims of Sandy Hook. Here is a link to one of the news articles about that:
    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/17/15972814-inspired-to-act-26acts-of-kindness-to-honor-those-lost-in-newtown-conn?lite
    These are both things that I can involve my children in, so we will likely be cutting snowflakes and finding ways to help people in the coming weeks in the name of Sandy Hook.

  • Ann says:

    I just recently became aware of a nation wide effort to provide crocheted blankets to the victims’ families. Perhaps it’s part of the Linus project. Here is a freecycle email explaining more. [IndependenceFreecycle] Wanted, All crocheters and or yarn, Independence
    From:
    jlaz4578
    Add to Contacts
    To: IndependenceFreecycle@yahoogroups.com
    I belong to a crochet group and we have taken on a project we decided to call “Blankets of Hope”. We are all crocheting 6inch granny squares and sending them to hubs across the U.S. and Canada to be stitched into blankets to send to the families affected by the Newtown, CT tragedy. If anyone knows anyone who crochets and wants to contribute one or ten squares, please let me know. Feel free to share this with mothers, grandmothers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles …. church groups, neighborhood groups, anyone. Even one square would help. If you do not crochet but have yarn or crochet hooks, that would help also. I have a few family members that used to crochet but have since given their supplies away. This has grown from one hub in the Ozarks, MO to 7 hubs coast to coast and another in Canada. These ladies are wonderful and I want to do all I can to help out the families who are hurting this holiday season.

    __._,_.___
    Reply via web post Reply to sender Reply to group Start a New Topic Messages in this topic (1)
    RECENT ACTIVITY: New Members 2
    Visit Your Group
    Copyright (c) 2003-2008 The Freecycle Network(TM)
    (http://www.Freecycle.org).

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