First came the horror stories out of Sandy Hook Elementary School. Then came the incredible stories of kindnesses done on behalf of the people of Newtown, Connecticut. Now, it is our turn to help the people who have survived this unspeakable tragedy.
Maybe you have money to donate to one of the funds set up for the families of the victims. Perhaps you have money to give to help support the services for the survivors. Or maybe you just have a little time to sit down and write a letter of condolence.
Remember: every little bit helps. Here's where to start.
1. Make a donation to My Sandy Hook Family Fund. Created by families of the surviving children, this fund will be distributed directly to the families who lost children in the shooting.
2. Donate to the Noah's Ark of Hope Fund. Named for Noah Pozner, one of the 6-year-olds killed on Friday morning, the monies collected will be used to help Noah's four surviving siblings, including his twin sister. All of the Pozner children were in the school on Friday in different classrooms.
3. Give to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. The school itself is now a crime scene, and the children will have to be moved to another building, but that doesn't mean the needs at the school are gone. To help the district, this fund has been set up and approved by the Newtown School Board.
4. Offer support to Newtown Youth & Family Services. The non-profit is providing emergency counseling to everyone affected by the tragedy in Newtown. Monetary donations can be made to support their efforts, but they're also assessing what other needs they have -- including possible volunteer opportunities for anyone in the area. They are also accepting donations to help the children specifically.
5. Donate to the Emilie Parker Memorial Fund. Named for one of the young victims, this fund will support the little girl's family with their needs.
6. Give to the Newtown Memorial Fund. Created by a father of a child at another of Newtown's elementary schools, monies collected in this fund will be used not only to help the families but to create a permanent memorial to the victims and later as a scholarship fund for the children of Newtown.
7. Donate to the Friends of the Engel Family Fund. This fund was created to help the family of little Olivia Rose Engel who was killed on Friday morning at just 6 years old.
8. Donate to the Dylan Hockley Memorial Fund. This fund is also named for one of the young victims, but monies collected will go to help children with autism and other special needs; children like Dylan, who died in the arms of his teacher's assistant on Friday morning.
9. Give a teddy bear. The people at the Newtown Bee newspaper are collecting enough teddy bears to give one of the comfort items to each of the children who survived the massacre.
10. Send a letter of support. Sometimes a kind word is really all that people need. The United States Postal Service has assigned the families their own postal box. Mail letters to Message of Condolence, P.O. Box 3700, Newtown, CT 06470.
Have you done anything to help the Sandy Hook victims? What should we add to the list?
Image via Oscar E./Flickr