Written Across My Heart: For Sandy Hook Promise | Kevin McClave’s Fundraiser

I launched a fundraiser on my daughter’s 9th birthday. It will run through December 14, 2015.

Miley was 6-years-old and in 1st grade on December 14, 2012. As we sat a safe distance away from the unfolding events in Newtown, I felt a sad affinity for those parents who weren’t as lucky as we were. As lucky as we are. Make no mistake, luck is all that separates us from them.

I’ve written about this in previous entries. It’s something I know I will carry with me for the rest of my days.

Generally speaking, this Crowdrise fundraiser supports Sandy Hook Promise. No matter how much is raised, that goal will be reached.

I wanted to try and really stretch, though.

If we reach the $5,000 goal I have set for this fundraiser, I will get a tattoo, specially designed (TBD), that incorporates the Sandy Hook School logo, a heart, and the number “26.” This tattoo will be inked over my heart. Forever.

I am 51- years-old. I have no tattoos, nor do I want any otherwise. I do, however, carry with me the events of December 14th, 2012. I remind myself daily how lucky we are. The tattoo will simply be a visible symbol of that.

I will pay for (or perhaps have time & talent donated for) the tattoo. None of the proceeds from this fundraiser will be used for that.

If we hit $20,000 for Sandy Hook Promise, I will also have the 26 names of those lost at Sandy Hook tattooed down my arms. 13 on each arm. Forever.

These are very aggressive goals, but Sandy Hook Promise is doing very important work.

Sandy Hook Promise is a national non-profit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.

Based in Newtown, Connecticut, its intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning tragedy into transformation.

SHP uses a multi-faceted slate of programs and practices, centered around issues of mental health, anti-isolationism, gun safety, advocacy, and policy, in an attempt to protect children and prevent the senseless, tragic loss of life.

I will say again, and I can’t say enough, that the only thing that separates those of us with our loves still with us, from those who have suffered unspeakable loss, is pure dumb luck. I am lucky. I hope you are lucky, too. I believe with that luck comes a responsibility.

Thank you for your help.


They Will Not Be Forgotten

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.

Thank you.

Please check out the Crowdrise fundraiser and help with a donation and by spreading the word.