Why not organize a Secret Santa campaign to give gifts or gift cards ASAP to the grieving students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT after the senseless massacre there?
PTO's, church groups, or others across the country in similar school districts could do this as a positive response with their kids to the tragedy.
Here is a simple flyer to help promote the idea: SecretSanta.pdf
Instead of just putting the flags at half-mast and focusing on grief counseling or trying to explain such a senseless massacre to our kids, this provides a more positive way to respond as charitable individuals.
It is pointless to engage in idle discussions or political debates about what motivates such senseless incidents, or the persistent idea that goverment must always "do something" about it in response. Instead, it's up to us as individuals.
The Newtown, CT district has about 5600 students in 9 schools. The Sandy Hook Elementary School is a top-rated school (10 out of 10 rating by "Great Schools"). It has about 600 students.
Keep it simple, fast, and direct as a rapid response, hopefully within the next few days. This could generate a far happier memory for them this Christmas by showing the charitable best of America. The sooner the better. Change the narrative from senseless tragedy to the unexpected charity of Secret Santa's - seeking no publicity or recognition.
If people in many towns were to do this, the chances are that they would quickly be inundated with donations - and if so could perhaps regift them to others in need, such as Hurricane Sandy victims, etc. That's entirely up to the people of Newtown - as opposed to supporting the various organized national charities (Red Cross, etc.) In other words, let the people of Newtown decide, as responsible individuals, what best to do with the charitable support they receive. Just get the "Secret Santa" donations to the school or school district or their PTO as an unexpected windfall, sort of like the town winning the Lottery for Christmas.
Think about it. In my town (Barrington), if every child in School District 220 was able and willing to donate $5, that would amount to roughly $44,000. That would be enough to give nearly a $75 gift to every child at Sandy Hook - and every participating child the joy of having done something to give other children a pleasant suprrise at a time of crisis.
If a few other school districts were to quickly follow this example, the resulting charity could be a very happy outcome before Christmas. If there were a similar effort in Palatine, Schaumburg, Lake Zurich, etc., there would not have to be a high level of participation before the total impact would be pretty dramatic, because some individuals would be able and willing to donate more than $5. The point is that a more widespread effort could have a rapid and large impact.
The idea is not to just give donations to the victim's families for their loss, for which nothing will ever compensate, but rather to reaffirm the goodness in America to the entire affected community and all those who choose to get involved in the effort. Respond to this evil act with kindness and charity, rather than anger about such a senseless atrocity.
What do you think? Share and discuss the idea quickly with your friends and neighbors, or at church this weekend, or at work next week. To be most effective, this would need to be organized very rapidly. In short, there aren't a lot of days left before Christmas, as you know. We would need to organize this within a matter of days.
If you would like to lead or help organize or support such a "Secret Santa" effort in your community, please just take the idea and run with it among your friends, church members, PTO contacts, etc. Like the start of the Tea Party movement across the country, this is an opportunity for local leaders to demonstrate how each person can make a difference.
Let's see if we can quickly turn this tragedy into a much happier surprise for the people of a small town which is very similar to many others across America. Let's demonstrate the continued power of caring individuals to make a big difference through private charity rather than political responses. Let's reaffirm that we won't live in fear as victims, nor will we rely on government to do what we can do for each other as charitable and responsible individuals. That is the way forward to restore America, rather than placing our reliance on divisive politicians and big government programs.
Like Frank Capra's classic "It's A Wonderful Life", set in a small town much like Newtown CT, let's demonstrate what the American people can do to provide a happier ending to a senseless tragedy by proving that every person matters.