On the Connecticut Shooting: Stop feeling, start doing. You can help.


The world is reeling with the news of the Connecticut massacre. That these children have died is a tragedy that leaves so many of us speechless. Children, and the innocence of children, remain—despite all that’s changed in the modern world—something we, with nearly universal clarity and voice, recognize as sacred.

But let me be clear. I am not sad. I am angry. Sadness, too often, calls for something to be felt. Anger calls for something to be done. And something needs to be done. Something beyond these abstract cries of solidarity. We live in a world where every great tragedy can become global, but in that broadening the depth is lost. We shout anonymously from all parts of the country to say our hearts are with the victims.

Our hearts are not. Our hearts are pinned inside our own chests. We mourn an imaginary child who reminds us of our own loved children. We are not sending our support. We are sending our words, and we are feeling very deeply and very uselessly in our efforts at an imaginary but feeble community. Our words and feelings are flimsy at times like these. What is needed is action.

Here are a few of  the non-profit organizations that are getting involved. Please check out these resources and, if you really want to show support, solidarity, and community, then do so with actions. Your words alone are not enough.

Newtown Youth and Family Services 

This charity will specifically use all of your donations to benefit those affected by this tragedy. Newtown Youth & Family Services, Inc., a nonprofit mental health clinic, will be open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for emergency counseling for families, community members, or staff involved in the Sandy Hook Elementary school tragedy.

Find out more about how NYFS is helping with this specific tragedy here. Find out how you can help here.

Newtown Parent Connection

The Newtown Parent Connection, a nonprofit that addresses issues of substance abuse, also offers bereavement group counseling on the first Wednesday of every month. The organization told The Huffington Post that it’s going to try to bring in additional counselors to accommodate the needs of those affected by the Sandy Hook shooting.

Find out how you can help here.

The American Red Cross

The American Red Cross of Connecticut immediately responded to the shooting scene and provided more than 50 units of blood platelets and plasma to the Danbury Hospital, where some of the victims were transported, spokesperson Melanie Pipkin told the Huffington Post. The aid organization has also distributed food and water to first responders and is setting up a family reception center that will provide initial grief counseling. The aid organization is not seeking blood donations at this time and doesn’t anticipate any additional need.

Find out more about the Red Cross’s support actions for the Connecticut massacre here. Learn about how you can help here.

This page will be updated with more charities that are getting involved. I’ll also work to update this page with other ways you can devote your time and resources to helping make things better.

If  you know of other NPOs working to repair some of the damage that has been felt so deeply by the victims and their families, please post information in the comments.

Emotion is useless unless those emotions translate into action. I encourage you to take the next step and do the work necessary to make things better—if only slightly.