The Sandy Hook tragedy affected us all in different ways. While all mourned, others did their best to be positive in the midst of a nightmare. This page will only focus on the positive stories that followed the Sandy Hill tragedy.
Pope John Paul II School Dresses Down to Raise Funds for Sandy Hook Elementary School
The students of Pope John Paul II (PJP2) like the rest of this state, were so very sorry to see what happened in Newtown at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Being an elementary and middle school, our students and teachers felt the horror and loss greatly. Over the past few weeks and in an effort to come to terms with this sad event, PJP2 students started their remembrances with a candlelight service of prayers for the 26 students and teachers, they created 26 angels which were then placed on the windows of their classrooms, looking out onto Holy Cross Church and Eddy Glover Blvd. for all to see.
January 10 was a special five-dollar dress-down day at school, with $522 being raised to donate to the special fund for Sandy Hook. The Student Council wore green ribbons and conducted a prayer service for the whole student body. Some of the children wore green T-shirts they had made which said, “Don’t forget Sandy Hook 12/14” and on the back was written “26 Angels”. All of this came from the students.
With these efforts, the students have learned an increased respect for life, have invested in their friendships more fully, and are much kinder to their own families and friends. If anything good has come from this sad act, it is that so many acts of kindness have happened all over the country, which is the final item we wish to report, the 26 Acts of Kindness.
Each student was asked by the Student Council and the members of the National Junior Honor Society to perform 26 Acts of Kindness over the month of January. A calendar was sent home with a note to the parents asking them to help their child(ren) populate the days with acts of kindness. At the end of January the calendars will be returned and put on display for all to see.
Couple this with the monthly events so far this year: in September they dedicated 3,000 prayers for the International Day of Peace; in October they prayed for the victims of Hurricane Sandy; in November they did a huge canned food drive for St. Anne’s Food Pantry in New Britain; while in December they did a drive for mittens, gloves, hats and gently used coats for Catholic Charities in Hartford. Maybe what the students are really learning is that they are important as helpers, prayers and members of a community.
Information about Pope John Paul II School can be found on the school’s website – www.pjp2school.org. Pope John Paul II School is a Pre-K through Grade 8 School serving the greater New Britain community, and is located at 221 Farmington Avenue, New Britain, CT 06053 (corner of Farmington Ave. and Eddy Glover Blvd.)
26 Acts of Kindness in Memory of the Victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School
The 26 acts is a national campaign that calls on everyone to do 26 random acts of kindness. This could be something as simple as taking out your neighbor’s trash cans to giving a few dollars to a homeless person. The first thing that came to mind when I discovered this national campaign is why does it take a tragedy for us to do selfless acts? Also, why do some people only do these acts so they can tell their friends, look what I did?
If you want to do something nice for someone, I ask you to keep it to yourself; don’t look for the self-gratification that so many others seek. Do a random act of kindness whenever you can and let that selfless act stay a selfless act. Let that act of kindness resonate in your heart and I promise you a feeling that will stick with you all day.