December 14, 2012 was the longest day of my life.
As the unbelievable horror of the news from Newtown, CT unfolded slowly and painfully for those of us a safe distance away, I was stricken in a way I never have been before. More than by September 11th, by any lost love, or by any physical pain. I still can’t shake that day. In a way, I don’t want to.
I am the father of a 6-year-old 1st grader. The wait for that long yellow bus to come around the bend on December 14th was poignant and difficult. The reunion it brought, intense.
Obviously that day was exponentially worse for the families directly changed forever by the mindless menace of violence.
I can’t forget that day. I can’t forget those beautiful faces, or the heroes who gave their own lives in an attempt to save them. I don’t want anyone else to forget them.
My birhtday is on St. Patrick’s Day and all I want this year is to try in whatever way we can, to help ease pain and suffering that will never fully go away.
I have launched a fundraiser via the great social-networking-for-good Crowdrise website. It will benefit the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, administered by United Way of Western Connecticut, Inc.:
“As people from across the nation and around the world respond to the heartbreaking tragedy at Sandy Hook School, they are turning to United Way looking for ways to help. In response, United Way of Western Connecticut in partnership with Newtown Savings Bank, has created the ‘Sandy Hook School Support Fund.’
This fund will be able to provide support services to the Newtown/Sandy Hook community. A local board of Newtown community leaders is being convened to determine how the fund is most needed and will be best utilized.”
As a former United Way employee and donor, I understand the value of local autonomy and the locally directed, need-based use of funds that United Way uses. The people of Newtown will have a direct say in the way these funds are distributed and put to use.
I am so very lucky to have the people I love with me. Maybe you are lucky, too. Let’s give thanks for this in a very tangible way.