This year it may be difficult to get in to the spirit of Christmas as usual. Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, peace and goodwill towards all.
“Only a 53-percent majority of all Americans are ‘hopeful’ about their lives in 2013 while about 44 percent say they are rather more ‘fearful’ about the year ahead, The Washington Post reports Tuesday, quoting a newly conducted Washington Post-ABC News poll.” ~PressTV
This year many of us are asking for the gift of peace. One way to feel peace is by giving love and hope at home and around the country.
So many lives are forever changed as a result of the Newtown tragedy. These 20 children and 6 adults are now a part of all of us as we remember them in our hearts forever. At times like these we search for meaning and look for ways to restore peace in our minds and hearts.
This mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut has tested our faith and brought us to our knees. And the 2012 presidential election campaign divided the country and its outlook on the future.
President Obama shared words of hope for the people in Newtown, Connecticut and for all Americans in his speech at the prayer vigil for Newtown shooting victims. “God has called them all home. For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on and make our country worthy of their memory. May God bless and keep those we’ve lost in His heavenly place. May He grace those we still have with His holy comfort, and may He bless and watch over this community and the United States of America.”
Are you and your family searching for ways to share love and hope leading into the New Year?
Ways to Share Love
Reach out. Be a model of light for others. We teach our children well when we include them in helping others in a difficult time and showing acts of kindness. Each of us around the country can help by working together to heal from this life-changing tragedy.
- Light a candle for the victims and their families.
- Say a prayer together.
- Mail a letter- The U.S. Postal Service has established a special P.O. Box to allow the public to send condolences and expressions of comfort to those affected by the Newtown tragedy. Address them to: Messages of Condolence for Newtown, P.O. Box 3700, Newtown, CT. 06470
- Send an Evergram online. This site allows you to show your support by writing a note, or recording an audio message or video for the community in Newtown, Connecticut.
- Be a part of the 26 Acts of Kindness Project.
- Participate as a family to do something for you own community.
“A Broken heart will turn into a stronger one within hope.” ~Toba Beta
Ways to Share Hope
How do you talk to kids about this? Not out of fear, but out of a place of hope. Children are looking to parents for strength and reassurance. You can model healthy coping skills and your hope for healing by giving to charities and organizations that are committed to helping Newtown, Connecticut get back on its feet. Ask your children to help you decide on one of the following ways to help people in Newtown.
The United Way of Western Connecticut has set up a Sandy Hook School Support Fund. The Fund will serve the families and the community of Newtown and all donations will go directly to those affected.
Newtown Youth and Family Services is a nonprofit mental health clinic. They are accepting donations and continue to assess the needs of the community.
Newtown Parent Connection is a nonprofit organization that addresses issues of substance abuse, and bereavement group counseling on the first Wednesday of every month.
The Newtown Memorial Fund has been set up in order to aid families of the victims with funeral costs. Donations will also be used to design and erect a memorial in the coming months.
My Sandy Hook Memorial Fund was set up by the parents of the children who survived the massacre. All donations will go to the families of the victims in order to help with any immediate costs they might face as a result of the tragedy.
The band, One Republic, has set up a donation site to aid the families of Newtown. The site has gotten a lot of celebrity buzz and they have already surpassed their goal of $50,000.
Connecticut PTSA Connecticut PTSA is working with the Sandy Hook PTA and community leaders in Newtown and Sandy Hook Elementary to offer assistance in a number of different ways. Sandy Hook PTA Winder wonderland snowflake project.
Red Cross The American Red Cross continues to provide food, water and emotional support for the community of Newtown, Connecticut.
Save the Children Save the Children is helping families in Newtown with grief counseling and support. The organization also put out a list of tips on how to support your children through this tragedy.
I personally feel very hopeful when I hear and read about people coming together and organizing efforts to include each and every one of us in helping the people in Newtown start to heal.
I encourage you:
- Join me in having this conversation about hope with your family.
- Find a simple way to share love, hope and peace with the people in Newtown, Connecticut.
- Share the wonderful acts of kindness you learn about with your children and ask them for their ideas for showing kindness to others.