I was working when I heard of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut two weeks ago. I wanted to leave work and rush to my children – who are both in elementary school, one the same age as many of the victims – and hold them. I was so thankful that I was able to kiss them goodnight while they were sleeping in their beds while so many parents in Newtown were unable to do such an everyday thing. I still can’t believe that it happened, and yet it did. How can something positive come from such negative? What can we do?
The outpouring of gifts has been so powerful and yet so overwhelming that Newtown officials have asked people to stop sending packages – the postal service is unable to process the amounts they are receiving.
“Our hearts are warmed by the outpouring of love and support from all corners of our country and world,” Newtown First Selectman Patricia Llodra said. She asked anyone wishing to give the town condolences for the shooting to donate to needy children and families in their own community. “Thank you for understanding our message of appreciation and our need to now defer gifts to others in need.”
Here are some ways in which you can take the advice of Patricia Llodra and help people in your community.
Toys of Hope, 501(c)(3) charity where 100 percent of all money donated goes towards helping children and needy families.
Feeding America, which donates every dollar they receive to provide 8 meals to families struggling with hunger. Their food bank network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors in all 50 states.
CreateTheGood.org: You can type in your zip code and the type of charity you’d like to find, and you’ll get a whole list of local results.
JustGive.org works similarly to Create The Good. Type in your zip code to find causes to donate to in your own city or town, and get info on nearly 1.8 million charities.
NetworkforGood.org also allows you to donate to multiple charities in one simple transaction.
If you wish to still give directly to the families and the community in Newtown, The Sandy Hook Support Fund is one option to consider. The United Way of Western Connecticut established a fund which will provide support services to families and the community. All donations to this fund will go directly to those affected. “To several staff, volunteers and contributors, Newtown is home,” the United Way of Western Connecticut says on its website. “We will stand with the community and everyone affected directly and indirectly by this tragic event as we face the days and weeks ahead.”
Image via NPR