The can be few people anywhere in the world who have not been shocked to the core by the horrific events that befell the small town of Newtown, Connecticut, USA on December 14th 2012
TWENTY SIX innocent people, TWENTY of them aged just SIX or SEVEN years old lost their lives in a hail of gunfire within their own community school – a supposed place of safety.
For those of us in the United Kingdom, it is something we can closely relate to. It’s not that many years since this type of evil visited our shores, when in March 1996 sixteen children and their teacher were shot and killed in the Dunblane tragedy in Scotland.
Without going into the why’s and wherefores’ of the American gun obsession culture, it’s plain for all to see that tragedies like this will continue to happen until something changes.
In the meantime, for the families and friends of all those affected by this tragedy, life will never be the same again. Christmas is cancelled; life as they all know it has been cancelled.
Above all else, in this day and age, it’s a plain and simple fact of life that no parent should ever have to bury their own child.
And also, don’t forget the trauma, pain and emotional scars that will be left on the emergency personnel who responded to this tragedy, the police, fire and ambulance personnel for whom no amount of training could have prepared them for what they were about to encounter.
People quickly forget the first responders; those that are just ‘doing their job’ but as someone who has had to deal with one too many individual tragedies myself, I cannot begin to imagine how to begin dealing with a disaster on this scale.
And then there were the people upon whom it fell to tell twenty six families that their loved ones would never be returning home again.
So, what can we do to help ? In physical terms, two funds have been set up to help those left to death with the aftermath of the dark cloud which has beset this quiet corner of the United Sates.
The people of Sandy Hook have set up their own fund via the Charity Giving Site EverRibbon. Their message is:
We are the parents of the children who survived. We are the classmates, friends, and the little league coaches. Sandy Hook is where we live — it is our proud community.
We ask the world to join us not only in our grief but also in our burning need take some of the burdens off these families in their time of incredible pain. To bear their cross in some small way.
We intend to use donations to pay for immediate needs, including funeral services, as well as ongoing living expenses such as food, mortgages payments, daycare, insurances and fuel until they are back on solid ground.
Please help us help our own neighbors beyond sharing their tears. All net funds received will go directly to the families who lost children and immediate family members.
You can donate directly to their appeal by clicking on the image above or this link –> My Sandy Hook family Fund
Alternatively, the Sandy Hook School Support Fund has been set up by United Way of Western Connecticut and the Newtown Savings Bank to provide support services to the affected families and community. Among other efforts, it will support day and night walk-in hours at the Newtown Youth and Family Services Counseling Center
To donate to this appeal click on the image above or this link –> Sandy Hook School Support Fund
If you can, and I know times are hard for all of us, but they aren’t as hard as they will be forever for the Sandy Hook families, please do make a small donation to one or both of the above appeals. A couple of pounds from each of us could go a very long way to relieving many of the extra burdens the families will have to face – and remember state aid and welfare is not as forthcoming in the USA as it is here !
As most of the readers of this blog will have some connection to the emergency services, be it police fire or ambulance, and most of us will have kids of our own, or even grandkids, consider yourself being on duty and listening to the radio traffic from the YouTube clip below coming through in real time. Ask yourself this – how would you react ??
Please repost this article on your Facebook and Twitter pages and anywhere else you can, to raise awareness and encourage others to help.
On Twitter also use the hashtag #TwitterCaresForSandyHook to show your support. Thank you.