Although we cannot change the outcome of the horrible tragedy that took place on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we can do our part to help to support the families affected by the tragic shooting:
- Send Your Condolences: The US Postal Service has established a unique Post Office Box to accept sympathy cards sent to the town. Expressions of comfort can be sent to: Messages of Condolence for Newtown, PO Box 3700, Newtown, CT, 06470
Make Snowflakes: Sandy Hook Elementary School students will be in a new facility when they return to school, and the National PTA and Connecticut PTSA want to turn it into a Winter wonderland decorated with as many unique snowflakes as possible. They are asking kids and adults alike to make the most creative snowflakes they can and to send them by January 12, 2013 to Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514. (Directions on how-to make snowflakes here.)
UPDATE 1/2/12: A Blizzard Of Support: Too Many Snowflakes. The response to an initiative by Newtown PTAs and the Connecticut PTA to create snowflakes to decorate the Chalk Hill School in Monroe, where Sandy Hook Elementary School students will return to school after the holiday break, has created a blizzard. So many snowflakes have been delivered to Connecticut, from all over the nation, that the PTA is now pleading for school children and others to please stop creating and sending the winter icons.
"There is a semi-tractor trailer truck parked in Hamden [where the Connecticut PTA is located] to store all of the snowflakes ," said Middle Gate PTA President Kelley Mozelak, "and it's full."
The original idea had been to find a way to give children a way to support the children of Sandy Hook School and to help decorate the hallways of the new school, Ms Mozelak said. The local and state PTAs are extremely grateful for the participation, she said, and look forward toward a day in January when they will be able to decorate Chalk Hill School with the many snowflakes they have received.
- Sign a Card: An online national sympathy card has already received more than 1.7 million signatures. The card will be delivered to community officials in a "respectful" way.
- Organize a Student-Run Coin Drive: Connecticut PTSA "Sandy Hook Fund" hopes to provide ongoing support for the Newtown community. Monies raised through student-run coin drives should be donated by February 14, 2013. Other student-run ways to raise money include spirit days, pajama days, walk-a-thons, and more.
Keep reading to learn more ways to give back to the Sandy Hook community, including scholarship funds set up in the victims' names.
- Donate to the Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Memorial Fund: The family of Sandy Hook Elementary School's beloved principal, who died trying to protect her students and staff, has set up a scholarship fund to help a local high-school senior pursue a career in education.
- Donate to the Victoria Leigh Soto Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund: Eastern Connecticut State University, first grade teacher Victoria Soto's alma mater, has created a scholarship fund in her name to support students studying to be teachers with their educational costs. Soto died protecting her class from the assailant during the rampage.
- Donate to The Sandy Hook School Memorial Fund: The University of Connecticut has established a scholarship fund for any students who currently go to the Sandy Hook Elementary School, as well as siblings of those killed, and dependents of teachers and the other adults who lost their lives protecting the school's students. The fund was started with an $80,000 donation from UConn Women's Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma.
- Donate to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund: The United Way of Western Connecticut has established a fund to provide support services such as funeral expenses and counseling to the community and families that have been affected.