It is hard to believe how much time has passed since the last post. So many things have changed. 11 months. It's been a long year.
Sadly, the events of December 14th have overshadowed all. Sitting at my desk at work, reading an email from a friend in Connecticut asking me if I'd "heard about the school shooting in Newtown" was surreal. I thought what most of us did, the school is on lockdown, no one was hurt, it was blown out of proportion. Sadly, the opposite was true. With each subsequent report the news became worse. And then it became horrifying. 20 children. First graders. 6 teachers and administrators. Gone. As was "The Shooter" as he has come to be identified. And his mother. Rumors flew, but nothing changed those numbers. And then the names. Was it anyone I knew? Was it anyone anyone I knew, knew? I sat at my desk, sobbing as many of us did. Feeling helpless. Trying to take it all in, while pushing it away.
It took some time to explain to my California friends why this was so devastating. They asked if I knew anyone. "I don't know yet", I told them. How do you explain, what I heard one reporter convey, that Sandy Hook "is a small community in a small town in a small state". EVERYONE will either know someone directly, or know someone affected directly. And that even the few who did not have a connection on December 13th, on the 14th will have a connection forever. It took no time at all for me to decide what to do. With the grief. The anger. The feeling of helplessness.
Our little fund, "BHKMusic" as I now call it, will have to help some of the survivors. The siblings. The children in the classroom who watched and listened in terror to their worlds being torn to shreds. Their classmates. Their teachers. Their brothers and sisters. This fund has lay dormant for too long. We are going to kick it into high gear. Music therapy. Of course. 5, 6 & 7 years olds don't process everything cognitively. They process mostly in feeling, experiencing, in movement. We can do this.
Within 2 weeks we have created a press release, a Facebook page, been highlighted on the Fairfield County Community Foundation website right along side:
The Newtown Scholarship Fund The Taunton Press Newtown Children and Families Fund
(The Brenda H. Kaplan Music Fund) The Grace McDonnell Memorial Fund Gifts in memory of Sandy Hook Elementary School psychologist Mary Sherlach
Working with FCCF and The American Music Therapy Association we are donating $2500, challenging corporations, groups and individuals to match it so that we can set up a partnership with agencies in Newtown to provide this very specialized type of therapy to as many of these kids we can. You can help. Tell everyone you know. Post our BHKMusic Blog, Facebook page and the Donate Now page from FCCF on anything and everything you can. The more people know about us, the more chance we have of really making a difference.
May you and your loved ones have a healthy, healing, peaceful and otherwise amazing 2013. Keep Newtown in your hearts including first responders, other teachers, counselors, and anyone who will live with this tragedy for the days to come. We are Connecticut. We will survive. We will be part of the healing.