Monday, December 17, 2012

Teddy Bear Drive for Sandy Hook Survivors and Grieving Families

I'm not really able to put my feelings into words at this time. What words are appropriate when there are parents out there who had their children taken from them with such violent means? There aren't any.

Being in high school in the south suburbs of Denver at the time, I, of course, was acquainted with people who went to Columbine High School. I still can't even write about it, and I wasn't there. It's making my head hurt just to try to find the right words to write here. This isn't going to be a well-written post, but bear with me. People amaze me every day. The strength of the survivors inspire me. After everything they endure, to find the good in the world again... It's a powerful thing.

**Skip this paragraph if you can't deal with specifics from Sandy Hook.**
Just know that for every person who does a terrible thing, there are people out there doing good. A young man killed children. But there were good people who helped save lives that day. A principal and school therapist lunged at the shooter to stop him. They died trying to stop him. In that time, he let off shots. That gave one teacher, the teacher whose door was closest to the entrance, enough time to lock her classroom door. When the shooter found that door locked, he moved on. A special education teacher used her body to shield her students and died. Another teacher stuffed her young children in a closet. When the shooter entered the room, she lied and told him they were at gym. He shot her. There were real heroes that day. They didn't save everyone, but their good deeds and heroic actions give me hope.

Today, a friend who is a survivor posted on Facebook about a charity drive led by fellow Columbine Massacre survivors. She shared that little acts of kindness helped her to see the good in people again. She said she still has a teddy bear that was given to her after the shooting. Many students were given bears and kept theirs after all this time.

Those survivors are organizing a teddy bear drive. You can find details for the drive at this website:

They write:
When our tragedy happened, many kind strangers sent us teddy bears for comfort. We still have those bears. They brought us hope.  They continue to bring us comfort and a reminder that there is so much good in the world.
We want to help provide the children and families of Sandy Hook some of the same hope and comfort we received.

If you are in a position to, please consider donating a bear to their teddy bear drive.

My thoughts and sympathy are with all of the parents and siblings and survivors from Sandy Hook. These were babies. All the photos of the deceased--I look at their smiling mouths filled with baby teeth... it's too much. I don't know how the families and community are going to move on. But I think back to those Columbine survivors, and I know good will prevail there, too.

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