In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, people have been searching for a way to give back and honor the victims of the shooting. On Friday morning a gunman entered the elementary school by force and killed 26 innocent people: 20 children and 6 adults. Without the bravery of teachers at the school, many more children could have been killed. The gunman later killed himself as police closed in.
President Obama spoke on the events the evening of the shooting with tears in his eyes stating, “In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans, and I will do everything in my power as president to help, because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need, to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories, but also in ours.”
NBC’s Ann Curry started a movement with a tweet challenging people to commit 20 random acts of kindness, one for each child killed in Newtown, CT. Curry’s tweet read, “Imagine if all of us committed to 20 mitvahs/acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. I'm in. If you are RT #20Acts.”
The challenge was so well received that people accepting the challenge increased the number of acts to 26 in order to represent the adult victims as well. The reaction has been enormous as thousands of people have been going out and doing random acts of kindness in their area. Some participants have also left notes explaining the movement and asking the recipients to join in and perform acts of kindness as well.
Ann Curry’s movement is a beautiful way to remember the victims of Sandy Hook, as we celebrate their lives by doing good for others. Some of the acts include leaving flowers on a stranger’s car and bringing a mall Santa a Starbucks gift card instead of asking him for something. Another person bought a new pair of shoes for a hardworking custodian whose shoes were held together by tape.
Father of 6 year old victim, Emilie Parker, plead, “Let it [be] something that inspires us to be better, to be more compassionate and humble people. Let us please keep the sentiments of love that we feel for our families, and the compassion that we feel for others – even complete strangers – and keep them with us at all times, not just in times of sorrow and tragedy.”
To see how others are reaching out, search “#26Acts“ or follow Ann Curry on Twitter for updates and stories regarding the movement. A Facebook page has also been created to promote the movement, as well as share acts of kindness participants have sent in.
A check sheet has been created for those who are interested: