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How to express support for Newtown families

Original post made on Dec 19, 2012

The Postal Service in Newtown, Conn., has set up a post office box for cards and letters of support for shooting victim families, the American Red Cross has announced.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 4:46 PM

Comments (9)

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Posted by RW
a resident of another community
on Dec 19, 2012 at 8:12 am

From the Huffington Post. The headline is "Residents...Want Journalists to Leave Town"

"'Please tell them to just ease up,' Teri Brunelli, a Newtown store owner, told reporter Adrienne LaFrance. 'It happened and we're going through it. Just let it be for now.'

The BBC's Jonny Dymond reported being told, 'Go home, please, go home, all of you," by a man who said that he knew four or five of the families who lost children.'"

I have to assume that goes for condolence letters from strangers as well.

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Posted by aperson
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2012 at 8:57 am

RW - I don't see the connection you are making between condolence letters and heavy media presence. I fully agree that the media should leave that town and let the community grieve in private. (I cringe when I see reporters standing on street corners, loudly giving facts about the gunman to the camera, while residents (some children) are walking by). However condolence letters are quiet, non-intrusive ways of letting those folks know that people care. I would think (hope at least) that the letters are screened before they are passed on to the families too. After that, the families can do what they like with them. They can perhaps let the letters sit in a pile and open them at a later time, on their terms.

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Posted by Newtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 19, 2012 at 10:52 am

I am from Newtown and still have family and friends there or very close by. I have spoken with quite a few people over there the last few days. I do not know anyone with kids who were killed. But I am only a couple steps removed and have heard some personal stories that would make most grown men break down in tears.

I have heard that the press has taken over the town. It is harder to find a parking space, reporters keep coming up to people to ask them to talk, etc. I think it is time for the press to back off. But of course they are just doing their job...They are providing what their viewers want. Two different reporters spoke with me yesterday here in Palo Alto (apparently there aren't many people from little Newtown in this area). They were very respectful. But I know it could be much different for someone who had family at the school on Friday.

As for personal letters, I think this is very different. Someone could set aside a letter to read when they are ready. It's not "in their face" the way the reporters can be. I would say send them if you feel the urge. It is at times like this that we should all extend the idea of "neighbor" past your town's border.

That being said, have you reached out to your own neighbor recently? Perhaps that is a good place to start. Be aware of what is going on with your neighbors so you know when something out of the ordinary might be cause for concern. And if you care about increasing security at schools, maybe start with the ones closest to you...Tell them you feel it could be good to hire someone to patrol (doesn't need to be an armed guard or police)? And of course if you have kids, check in with them regularly to see how they are feeling and if there is anything we can do to help.

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Dec 19, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Want to do something positive?

Join and/or donate to "The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence." Fight the NRA $$ with $$ to end this gun nonsense. No one is talking about repealing the 2nd Amendment, just talking about adding some rationality.

Web Link

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Posted by Newtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 20, 2012 at 7:53 am

Don't believe that the people of Newtown have had enough of the media presence in their little town?

This was written by one of my sister's best friends from high school (Newtown High, which is also in Sandy Hook):
Web Link

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Posted by Gunn Terman Parent
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 20, 2012 at 11:02 am

Dear Newtowner,

thank you for your thoughtful and helpful posts. You're right on about reaching out to neighbors in our midst.

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Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Newtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Please see the following regarding PO Box set up to receive gifts:

Web Link

And I just got this message from someone there involved in distribution of these gifts:
- There is an overwhelming amount of teddy bears/stuffed animals and food, and while everyone appreciates the efforts, they offered up some alternative ways to help. Social Services is looking into other establishments to donate these teddy bears to (there is literally an excess of thousands). Christina will be bringing some to the Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Contact her if you have more to contribute at 203-512-8866.

- Gift cards for restaurants/food are being collected by Newtown Social Services and will be passed on to the families of the victims in January if anyone would like to donate.

- Social Services is also going to be starting a fund for the first responders. They said checks can be made out to The Town of Newtown, but make sure to put First Responders in the memo line. Checks can be mailed or dropped off to their office. They are located at 3 Main Street in Newtown and their number is (203) 270-4330.

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm

This was a horrible tragedy for the families involved.

For others it is heart rending and we should look to our Churches for personal solace and grief in this matter.

The ghoulish coverage of this tragedy by CNN, MSNBC, Fox News etc is an abomination

-leave the families alone to grieve and give them that respect and comfort.

The attempts to make political advantage out of this tragedy is obscene-leave the families alone.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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