Newtown families have asked the public for privacy and acts of kindness on Saturday, the first anniversary of the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Has your family thought of a way -- large or small -- to help fulfill the heartbroken town's wishes?
Here are a few quick ideas for sweet gestures that involve your kids:
- Make some holiday crafts and bring them to a nursing home in your neighborhood.
- Drop off homemade cookies or another food gift to an elderly neighbor or a friend you have fallen out of touch with.
- Donate a toy to a children's toy drive, if you haven't already.
- Drop off a copy of your child's favorite book to a children's hospital in your area.
- If your child is old enough and mature enough to understand what happened in Newtown, work together to write a brief message to the Sandy Hook families who lost a loved one. They have created a new website called My Sandy Hook Family where people can learn about their loved one who died and leave a (screened) message.
Or choose a favorite charity or cause where your family can volunteer or make a donation (in-kind or monetary -- anything can help!). My mother died when I was in college, so I've become interested in organizations that provide grief support for children and teens who have lost an immediate family member (such as The Children's Room, The Dougy Center, and The Moyer Foundation). These places are great resources for families like the survivors of Newtown victims. I just checked The Children's Room's wish list and see that they need art supplies, so I will drop some off this weekend. Glitter pens can bring a grieving child a little bit of joy!
Tell us about your act of kindness in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you!