Bay Area Events to Remember Sandy Hook Victims This Weekend

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Newtown-ribbon-sandy-hook-12/14/12-speak-up-show-up-for-change-good-neigbor-storiesBay Area leaders, gun violence prevention activists and volunteers are set this weekend to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the 26 shooting deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Ceremonies, marches, rallies, and gun buy-back events are planned for locations all over the region starting today, Friday, Dec. 13, and through Saturday, Dec. 14, the actual anniversary.

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, there have been 30,000 gun-related deaths since Dec. 14, 2012. The group’s leaders are calling on the public to attend the events and commit to, or recommit to, efforts to prevent gun deaths. All the events listed below are free. [Read more…]

26 Acts of Kindness Campaign Goes Viral

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A grassroots wave of people across the United States are performing millions of acts of kindness to honor the memory of the victims of the Dec. 26-acts-of-kindness-facebook-page-ann-curry-nbc-news14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT., after a single tweet by a national journalist.

“Imagine if all of us committed to 20 mitvahs/acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. I’m in. If you are RT #20Acts,” was the tweet NBC News’ Ann Curry sent out soon after the shootings.

Within hours, thousands of people had tweeted in response; it quickly grew into 26 acts of kindness, to honor both the children and adults who died at the school. In a blog post, Curry said that there was some debate to make it 27 acts, to include Nancy Lanza, shooter Adam Lanza’s mother. Some even suggested making it 28, since Adam himself was struggling with mental illness.

The popular sentiment of 26 acts of kindness stuck, however, and over the last couple of weeks has gained in popularity. Besides the official 26 Acts of Kindness Facebook Page, many more unofficial pages, or pages for specific communities, are springing up. A Twitter account was also established, @26acts.

All over social media people are reporting their acts of kindness, from handing out cash to strangers, to paying for people’s coffee or meals, to baking cakes and cookies for others, to donating money to organizations, and much more.

If you’re feeling motivated to get involved in the 26 Acts of Kindness campaign, Good Neighbor Stories has a large number of ideas for you to choose from. Check out our Be Kind: Kindness Ideas or More Ways to be a Good Neighbor pages, or consider helping out one of the many organizations listed on our Be a Good Neighbor Page.

What acts of kindness will you perform to honor the children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary? Tell us in comments!

 

Commentary: Time to Show Up and Speak Up For Our Communities

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It’s time to show up and speak up. Too many of us have been quiet and inactive for too long when it comes to the dual public health and safety Newtown-ribbon-sandy-hook-12/14/12-speak-up-show-up-for-change-good-neigbor-storiescrises, gun violence, and mental illness. Too many of us have been in a type of waking slumber, waking up occasionally after nightmares like Columbine, Tuscon, Aurora, only to fall back asleep after some cry, ‘Too soon! Look away! Nothing will ever change anyway!’

Friday, Dec. 14, 2010, we woke up as a country to a terrible nightmare. The date “12/14” is now our “9/11” when it comes to the realization that we have been inactive for too long in dealing with our gun culture, as well as the very broken system that is supposed to help the mentally ill. The twin towers came down on Friday in Newtown, CT, and nothing must ever be the same.

Each of us as members of our communities, has a responsibility to make those communities strong and safe. We can’t wave it off and say, ‘someone else will do it.’ We all have to show up and speak up. [Read more…]

Help the Sandy Hook/Newtown Community

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In the wake of the unbelievable tragedy at the Sandy Hook School in Newton, CT. on Friday, Dec. 14, there is a tangible way for those of us far help-the-sandy-hook-newtown-communityaway to help the community.

The United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) and the Newton Savings Bank partnered soon after the shootings of students and staff at the school to create a fund that will directly help the Sandy Hook community, as well as others in the rest of Newton and surrounding areas impacted by the event.

To donate online, go to https://newtown.uwwesternct.org

Or you can send a check to:

Sandy Hook School Support Fund
c/o Newtown Savings Bank
39 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470

Here’s an excerpt from the UWWC announcement:

United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) extends our most sincere condolences and prayers to all those families affected by the devastating events in Newtown/Sandy Hook, Connecticut. While the eyes of the world may be on Newtown/Sandy Hook, to our staff, volunteers and contributors, Newtown is home. We will stand with the community and everyone affected directly and indirectly by this senseless event as we face the days and weeks ahead.

“We are committed to providing support and resources where and when they become identified and needed,” said United Way of Western Connecticut CEO Kim Morgan. “I have been in touch with United Ways across the country who have responded to similar tragedies within their communities in an effort to identify best practices in dealing with the short term and long term needs that our community will face. We will work directly with the community to determine the best ways to support the families of the victims.”

As people from our area and beyond respond to this heartbreaking tragedy, they are turning to United Way looking for ways to help.  In response, UWWC, in partnership with Newtown Savings Bank, has created the Sandy Hook School Support Fund that will provide support services to the families and community affected by this senseless tragedy.