The horrific acts of violence committed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT are nothing short of heartbreaking. As a father of three young kids, I struggle to fully comprehend what the parents who lost their children must be going through. How could I possibly help ease their pain in a meaningful way?
In the interest of “being at your best when things are at their worst,” my wife and I decided to throw caution to the wind and put our professional skills into action. As a former event planner and current Girl Scout leader, my wife knows how to tackle the logistics and coordination needed to mobilize an army. And I know how to pitch in on the communications side.
After a few Facebook posts, e-mail blasts and phone calls we had more than enough manpower and supplies from our community in Mount Olive, NJ to make about 1,000 “worry dolls” for the students of Sandy Hook.
A worry doll is a small, colorful doll, made from wooden clothespins. It is traditionally made in Guatemala. If a child has a hard time sleeping due to worries or fears, they are supposed to hold and talk to the doll and place it under their pillow before going to sleep. The doll is thought to worry in the persons place and helps the child sleep peacefully through the night.
More than 100 people from our community came out last night, ranging in ages from 5-75, boys and girls, moms and dads, grandparents, town officials, scout leaders, athletes and more. It was a beautiful and emotional experience to see so many people come out to help us reach our goal of 1,000 dolls in less than three hours. Three surrounding towns heard about our event and contacted us to see how they could help and coordinate a similar effort.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it will be impossible to make any sense from this senseless crime.
But my faith in community has never been stronger.