What to Do After Newtown

Sunday, December 16, 2012

On Friday, a devastating tragedy happened when 26 people were killed in an elementary school, twenty of them being children between the ages of 6 and 7.

I was an elementary/middle school teacher for three years before I moved here to Texas. And as I heard more and more about the tragedy, I kept imagining my own students from those years being shot down and left to die on the classroom floor. It sent more than one chill up my spine and that afternoon, as I was running errands, I listened to the newscast on my radio and gasped tears.

I'm truly left without words. So, instead I will point you to other great articles by people who do have words and wise ones at that:
The real reason I'm writing is not to point you to spiritual and theological articles/blogs about yesterday (though that is nice), but rather to suggest what you can do next.
  • Donate: A Trappist abbey is donating handmade caskets for all those affected in the tragedy (see this article) The abbey frequently donates or discounts child caskets to families, especially in times of tragedy. However, to make up for the cost of the materials, the abbey has set up a Child Casket Fund so that more families don't have to face the burden of buying caskets for their children.
  • Speak out: Has this tragedy affected your views on gun control? Don't keep it to yourself. Write your elected officials. Demand change. Do what you can to prevent this from ever happening again.
    On a perhaps more difficult note, talk out your feelings. Talk to your children about what happened (see this article on how to do it) so that they can do the same.
  • Pray: Pray for the souls of the victims. Pray for their families. Pray for the family of the shooter. Pray for those left behind - the children and teachers who have lost their friends and co-workers, for whom life will never be the same. And pray for our world.
  • Love: Just love.
(Have you read any other faith-related articles about the tragedy? Or know of any other related organizations to donate to? Leave it in the comments!)

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