Friday, December 13, 2013

Perform a Random Act of Kindness in Memory of those Lost at Sandy Hook Elementary

by Melissa Lanier, volunteer contributor

This weekend marks the first anniversary of the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, resulting in the loss of 20 children and six adults. While it might seem like there’s nothing we can do, that’s really not the case. Community members in Newtown, Connecticut are asking for support by way of random acts of kindness or time spent volunteering for a good cause. Here are a few ideas of how we can mark the day: 
  • Buy the people behind you in the line at Starbucks a cup of coffee
  • Walk dogs at your local animal shelter
  • Go through your children’s closets and donate those coats that no longer fit them to an organization that can give them to those in need right now 
  • Sign up to volunteer with a local nonprofit agency that could use a helping hand
You can sign up to volunteer for the American Red Cross. The agency dispatched more than
160 relief workers to Newtown who passed out meals, blankets and teddy bears in response to the December 14th tragedy last year.

The community gathers to remember Sandy Hook.
Members of the Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Team, made up of psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed social workers, trauma nurses, school counselors and others specially trained to deal with emotional trauma, were also deployed to Newtown. The Red Cross worked with state government and local agencies to set up grief counseling there after the shootings. 

Large scale events like the Oklahoma City Bombing, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and now Newtown have shown the importance of having a team of professional mental health volunteers to support those devastated by disaster. These services are also made available for victims in our community affected by house fires, the weather and other emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

Saturday I’ll talk to my daughter again about what happened in Newtown, listen to her concerns and go over our family and school security preparedness plan. We’ll limit TV time in order to keep anxiety to a minimum, and we’ll be making a donation to American Red Cross to honor the victims at Sandy Hook. Then we’ll get out of the house and find something nice to do for somebody we don’t know. What are YOU doing this weekend?

Learn more about how licensed counselors support the American Red Cross

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