“There is a saying in Tibetan, 'Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.' No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that's our real disaster.” – The Dalai Lama
When unthinkable tragedy strikes, we grapple for a way to come to terms with the how and the why. We search for ways to make sense of what happened, even when it doesn't make sense.
The horrific shooting that took place at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT, on Friday, Dec. 14, stunned a nation as the news broke that not one child, but 20 six- and seven-year-old children and six of their teachers had been shot and killed by a gunman who then took his own life.
Most communities can only begin to imagine the sorrow that washed over this Connecticut town described as close-knit and quiet, a suburban community just 60 miles outside of New York City. It was something that we've never imagined, so many lives cut so unbelievably and inexplicably short.
Patch is in more than 900 communities across the country, including Newtown, and when tragedy strikes one of our communities, we all feel it. We are left to question what we would do, how we would cope if something like what happened in Newtown happened in one of our communities — many of which are so like this town of 27,000.
We may not be neighbors in the geographical sense, but at Patch we feel a sense of community across our 900 sites. That's why we here in Rhode Island want to share our love, our thoughts and our prayers with our neighbors in Newtown, and we want your help.
Newtown is sure to be inundated with flowers and gifts over the coming days and weeks. Creation of memorial funds and teddy bear drives have already begun, so we wanted to do what we do best — pull our communities together through our sites and social media — and create a huge virtual card for the close-knit community that lost so much on Friday.
Here's what you can do:
- Upload a photo like the one above, with a message for the families who lost their loved ones, for the students who lost their classmates, for the community trying to make sense of it all and find peace again.
- Upload a video with a message from you or your family.
- Do your kids want to do something? Upload a photo of a card from them to the students at Sandy Hook School.
- Businesses: Do you have a sign board out front? Share your message to the Newtown community and upload a photo.
To upload a photo or video, make sure you're signed into your Patch account and click the "Upload photos and videos" button. If you need to create an account, you can do so by clicking "join" at the top of the page. It takes just a minute and is free.
Let's show our love and support for Newtown as it grieves and eventually begins to heal from Friday's senseless tragedy.
If you want to send a donation to the families affected by Friday's shooting, get more information here.