Show support for Sandy Hook, CT

Reprinted with permission from The Mercurial, Amanda Bloom, Editor.


Yoga, Snowflakes, A Night Out: How You Can Help Sandy Hook

By Amanda Bloom

St. Rose of Lima Church vigil in Newtown. Photo by Jim Dietter.

The great support shown to the Newtown community within the last few days has been nothing short of remarkable. Numerous funds have been set up, music and art shows are being organized, t-shirts have been designed, and boatloads of stuffed animals have been donated. Here is a list of many ways to help Sandy Hook. There are also a few resources for helping yourself in this time of grief and uncertainty.

Know of more ways to help? Send details to editor@themercurial.com and we’ll get the word out.

Love is louder than violence

Note: The Better Business Bureau is encouraging people to do their research before giving to charities:

“BBB recommends donors avoid giving to charities or funds through unsolicited phone calls, emails, texts or social media appeals.

You may contribute to victims’ family funds through:

Sandy Hook School Support Fund
c/o Newtown Savings Banks
39 Main Street
Newtown, CT 06470

The Newtown Rotary Club is also helping collect and distribute donations to victims’ families at newtownctrotary.org.”

How to Help

Taking care of yourself, memorial services, thank yous

A Tribute to Newtown

Wednesday, December 19, 7pm

Greater Danbury officials have organized A Tribute to Newtown at WestConn’s O’Neill Center:


Connecticut Memorial Service

Friday, December 21, 9:30am

Governor Malloy has requested a moment of silence in Connecticut at this time. He is also requesting that any houses of worship and government that have the capability to ring bells 26 times to honor the loss of life in Newtown. Malloy has also sent a letter to every governor in the U.S. asking them and their citizens to join Connecticut in this moment of silence.


Art for Your Heart

Friday, December 21, 10am -12pm, 2:30pm – 4:30pm

The Upstairs Gallery at Molten Java, 213 Greenwood Ave, 2nd floor, Bethel CT

“During this difficult time we reailze that coming together as a community and being together is extra important. Please bring your children to create crafts, snowflakes, hearts, cards … let your imagination run wild! They will be delivered to
our neighbors in Newtown, as well as our own Police, Fire and EMT’s with thanks for all their extra work during this time.
Come pour your Heart into something creative and show your love and support for our neighbors , friends, and family in Newtown and here at home!

Craft supply donations encouraged –there will be a bin for donated craft supplies all week in the Upstairs Gallery at Molten Java.


Yoga for Healing

Yoga Culture of Danbury has released an online class of “yoga and meditation to send good energy into the world in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy”. The sequence is simple and includes poses and movement for grief, confusion, surrender, and acceptance, followed by a meditation.


Crisis Intervention Line

United Way of Connecticut is available 24 hours a day with its 211 crisis intervention line. If you or someone you know needs assistance, dial 2-1-1 to reach call specialists trained in handling crisis situations.

20-Something Acts of Kindness

Ann Curry of NBC News launched this idea, which quickly spread to Twitter and Facebook:

“After the experience in Newtown. I thought, “What if? Imagine if everyone could commit to doing one act of kindness for every one of those children killed in Newtown.” So that’s what I tweeted. And guess what? People committed. I said in my tweet, “I’m in. RT if you’re in.” Not only did they commit to 20 acts of kindness, they wanted to up it to 26 acts of kindness for every child and adult who was lost at the school. Some even debated maybe we should include the mother, who died, at 27 acts. Some debated maybe we should include the killer as well as he was struggling and in pain.

I think it’s up to you. Commit to how many acts of kindness you want to. It’s really your choice.”


For the students

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook

“Please help the students of Sandy Hook have a winter wonderland at their new school! Get creative!! No two snowflakes are alike. Make and send snowflakes to Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT, 06514 by January 12, 2013.”

For the families

Newtown Memorial Fund

This fund, established the day of the tragedy, will be utilized in three parts. From fund founder and Newtown resident Brian Mauriello:

Short term: To provide financial relief for funeral expenses of those who perished in the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre of December 14, 2012. We are hearing now after day 3 that some or all of the funeral expenses are being covered by many donors. If this is true and our assistance is not needed for these expenses, we know there are other immediate expenses for Police duty overtime, and other Community financial needs that arise.

Mid term: To assist the town with the design, placement and funding to donate a suitable lasting memorial(s) for our Community in tribute to those we lost.

Ongoing: To provide an annual scholarship fund to students of the Newtown Public Schools who will be going on to college. A full criteria will be developed and voted on by the board. Administration of this task will be the ongoing legacy of the memorial fund, hopefully for generations to come.


My Sandy Hook Family Fund

Feeling the overwhelming need to take action to help their friends and neighbors, a group of Newtown parents has formed the “My Sandy Hook Family Fund”. This group is made up of the parents of the children who survived. They are the classmates, friends, coaches, and neighbors of the victims of Friday’s massacre. The goal of this Family Fund is to provide immediate and continuing support to the 26 families who lost children and family members in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. All net proceeds donated will go to support the victims’ families. Over 30 thousand dollars has been raised since the site launched on Saturday afternoon.


Angels of Sandy Hook

This group of Newtown High alumni started off as “Santas for Sandy Hook” this past weekend and collected over $20,000 on the sidewalks of Sandy Hook. Due to the overwhelming amount of donations, Santas for Sandy Hook is now benefiting their new non-profit organization, Angels for Sandy Hook Elementary. All proceeds will go towards the families of those who lost and a future scholarship fund. Watch the group’s CNN interview: outfront.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/18/help-for-victims-of-sandy-hook-shooting/

Donate online at fundstarter.com/angelsofsandyhookelementary

Or send a check made out to Angels of Sandy Hook Elementary to

Angels of Sandy Hook Elementary
P.O. Box 3234
Newtown, Ct 0647

Letters for the Sandy Hook Families

“The United States Postal service has set up a special P.O. box for people who want to send notes or letters to the families, first responders and residents of the Newtown, CT. who were affected by the recent school shooting tragedy.The small post office of Newtown has been flooded with phone calls from people asking how to send a note or condolence card or even to send pictures that their children have drawn. Without specific names and addresses, many wanted to know where they could send these things. In response, the USPS has set up a special post office box dedicated to just that.

You can send your cards and letters to:

P.O. Box 3700, Newtown, CT 06470.”

Wear Your Support

Newtown Pride

A group of Newtown High alumni have created an “I <3 Newtown” t-shirt. All proceeds from shirt sales will go to the Sandy Hook Parent Teacher Association.


Sandy Hook Love

Sandy Hook Elementary Alumni have also created a t-shirt: “The front of the shirt is a recreation of an old Sandy Hook design. The back has a heart with the school’s initials and a small footprint (the footprint represents the Jolly Green Giant, one of the school’s mascots). Anyone who wishes to show their love for SHS is welcome to order.

Shirts are
Mens: organic True fit tee in eco green S-XXL
Ladies: organic boyfriend tee in eco green S-XXL
Youth: basic tee in green apple S-L

To get a shirt, please email sandyhooklove@gmail.com or message this page with your name, the sizes/ quantity that you would like, and whether you can pick up the shirt in Newtown or need it shipped (include address). Then go to giveforward.com/sandyhooklove to make your donation. We are asking for a $10 donation per shirt. We will contact those who require shipping with case-by-case shipping costs. After the t-shirt production cost all remaining proceeds will go to The Sandy Hook School Support Fund.”


Music, Dinner & More

Concert for Newtown

Thursday, December 20, 8:15pm

Neighborhood Music School, 100 Audobon Street, New Haven CT

Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps
The Fiddleheads
Goodnight Blue Moon
José Oyola
Neighborhood Folks
New Haven Chamber Klezmer Ensemble
Shawn Persinger is Prester John
The Sophistimacationers

The suggested donation is $10 or up. All donations will go directly to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

Facebook invitation: facebook.com/events/134827290005300/

Fundraiser to Support the Sandy Hook Families and Community

Saturday, December 29, 2pm

Partners Cafe & Pizza, 1 1/2 Cove Ave, Norwalk CT

“Saturday, December 29 we are hosting a benefit event to raise money for the United Way’s Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Please join us for this important event. We’re asking for a $20 donation at the door – Live music, food, silent auction, etc. For further information on the fund, please visit https://newtown.uwwesternct.org/ Please pass this invite on to your friends.”

Facebook invitation: facebook.com/events/434216193316260/

Hope for Sandy Hook

Thursday, January 3, 2013, 7pm

Woodwinds, 29 School Ground Road, Branford, CT

“A benefit dinner to raise money for the families who were affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. All proceeds will be sent to Newtown Youth and Family Services to help the families cover the cost of grief counseling.”

Tickets must be purchased ahead of time:


Strides for Sandy Hook 5K

January 19, 2013, 9am

Newtown, CT

“On January 19, 2013, join us for the 1st annual Strides for Sandy Hook 5K. This event will be a fundraiser in which proceeds will be fund for a memorial dedicated to the victims of last week’s tragedy. Registration site is being organized, but continue to check for updates for when the link goes live! Pre-race registration will be $25, day-of registration will be $35.”


Our Town

Friday, February 1, 5pm

Eclipse Cafe, 40 Elm Street, Danbury CT

“TallMIDGET co-owners Jass Bianchi & MAP, Connecticut natives, are going to be hosting an all ages eclectic music charity event for the town of Newtown. We want to bring together families and provide support in a time of tragedy. Jass Bianchi, a Sandy Hook Elementary graduate herself, will be accepting music submissions for artists willing to perform at the charity.”

For more information and to become involved as a musician or vendor, visit facebook.com/events/385965131490466/

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Thinking of Newtown

Since the December 14 murders in Newtown, Connecticut, the desire and inspiration to write here about gardening has become remarkably unimportant to me. This tragedy happened in my state. It occurred in a town similar to mine. To children and teachers just like those growing, living, and working here.

With a blog tagline of Gardening thoughtfully in Connecticut, I cannot continue to write about gardening without first writing thoughtfully about the babies gunned down and the educators who died trying to protect them.

They all died while doing the most normal thing … going to school. They were totally innocent.

The children were the reason parents inhale … the children were the future.

Unless you have walked in their shoes, the intense sadness, misery, sorrow that is now part of these parents’ lives is beyond comprehension. In reality, there are no words that adequately describe what they are going through.

Knowing a different form of grief because of the loss of a loved one can only hint as the level of despair these parents, and siblings, and other family members now live with and will continue to carry for the rest of their lives.

Beyond these families, this tragedy will be carried in the souls of the Emergency Medical Technicians, Firefighters, Police Officers, and every person who responded to help with this emergency. People who train to help save others must now live on with the memory that, in this case, they could not.

I am taking some time to reflect on this tragedy, to grieve in my own way, to absorb how this tragedy has altered our lives.

And it MUST alter our lives. It MUST keep the issue of mental health care, of firearm access, of school security at the forefront of national conversations and action. It MUST cause us to analyze the facts that come out of the investigation into how and, possibly, why this happened. We MUST do so with open eyes while acknowledging, at the local, state, and national level, that our world is different from the one this nation’s founders foresaw.

If this event – the gunning down of twenty innocent school children and six of their educators – does not cause us to rethink how we operate, then what will?


This blog will soon resume its focus, Gardening thoughtfully in Connecticut, but not right now. Not when this tragedy is still so raw … not while such dark clouds hang over my state.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Joene Hendry

Sandy delaying Garden Oops

Sandy has me living via generator and writing this via Android phone so my full Gardening Oops – GOOPs – post will be delayed until power is restored. But don’t let that stop you from sharing your own GOOPs on your blog. Leave a link in the comments … I will mention your post when my power is restored and my GOOPs post goes up.

Stay tuned … my GOOPs pertains to self-sowing ornamental grasses.