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Virginia to Newtown: Share Your Love

Help Patch build a huge virtual card to the Newtown, Conn. community and let them know they are in your heart and on your mind.

When unthinkable tragedy strikes, we grapple for a way to come to terms with the how and the why. We search for ways to make sense of what happened, even when it doesn't make sense.

The horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Friday stunned a nation as the news broke that not one child, but 20 six- and seven-year-old children and six of their teachers had been shot and killed by a gunman who then took his own life.

Most communities can only begin to imagine sorrow washing over this Connecticut town described as close-knit and quiet, a suburban community just 60 miles outside of New York City. It is something we've never imagined, so many lives cut so unbelievably and inexplicably short.

Patch is in more than 900 communities across the country, including Newtown, and when tragedy strikes one of our communities, we all feel it. We are left to question what we would do, how we would cope if something like what happened in Newtown happened in one of our communities—many of which are so like this town of 27,000.

We may not be neighbors in the geographical sense, but at Patch we feel a sense of community across our 900 sites. That's why we here in Virginia want to share our love, our thoughts and our prayers with our neighbors in Newtown, and we want your help.

“There is a saying in Tibetan, 'Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.' No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that's our real disaster.” – The Dalai Lama

Newtown is sure to be inundated with flowers and gifts over the coming days and weeks. Creation of memorial funds and teddy bear drives have already begun, so we wanted to do what we do best—pull our communities together through our sites and social media—and create a huge virtual card for the close-knit community that lost so much on Friday.

Here's what you can do:

  • Upload a photo like the one above, with a message for the families who lost their loved ones, for the students who lost their classmates, for the community trying to make sense of it all and find peace again.
  • Upload a video with a message from you or your family.
  • Do your kids want to do something? Upload a photo of a card from them to the students at Sandy Hook School.
  • Businesses: Do you have a sign board out front? Share your message to the Newtown community and upload a photo.

To upload a photo or video, make sure you're signed into your Patch account and click the "Upload photos and videos" button. If you need to create an account, you can do so by clicking "join" at the top of the page. It takes just a minute and is free.

Let's show our love and support for Newtown as it grieves and eventually begins to heal from Friday's senseless tragedy.

If you want to send a donation to the families affected by Friday's shooting, get more information here.

Follow Newtown Patch's coverage of the Sandy Hook School shooting here.

Greg Josephs December 17, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Excellent idea. The loss is incredible and incalculable... overwhelming. Words cannot begin to describe it. Our support and prayers are needed.
Sherrie December 19, 2012 at 06:34 PM
While I am saddened by the events in Connecticut, I was struck by an article in yesterday's Post. After reading front cover content plus 4 full pages dedicated to the shootings on pages 8–11, I turned to page 12. There at the bottom in the Digest was a 6 inch column reporting that 9 girls, between the ages of 9–11, were blown to bits in Afghanistan by an American made land-mind. They had been out gathering firewood. They have the larger part of my grief.
T-Bird December 19, 2012 at 07:45 PM
If you have more sympathy for 9 girls in a war zone in a country that killed 3,000 american civilians and thousands more soldiers, then your priorites are whacked.
Dusty Smith (Editor) December 20, 2012 at 04:46 PM
I have deleted two comments. I know emotions are high on this issue, but let's just try to drop it down a notch. There was something in each of the comments that I felt crossed the line.
T-Bird December 20, 2012 at 04:50 PM
My issue is with the comment that you have not removed. I will continue until it is removed.
Dusty Smith (Editor) December 20, 2012 at 05:06 PM
You have your opinion about the previous comment and I think you can express that disagreement without attacking the person who made it. I understand you find the comment offensive, but it is her opinion. Personally, my heart right now is with the families in Newtown. But I'm censoring personal attacks, not opinions.
T-Bird December 20, 2012 at 05:39 PM
I did not make the argument personal. But if that is a standard, I do find that her initial comment to amount to a personal attack on the victims and families of Newton. I think it is pretty obivious what it meant and its purpose. And by not deleting it, it means that you condone such offensive and distruptive behavior.
joe brewer December 20, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Stay in the shalloe end T-boy
Laurie Levine December 20, 2012 at 06:46 PM
I think that comment should remain. its their opinion and they are obvioulsy sadden by it.
lisa A December 20, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I agree, I believe her comment should stay as well, I understand why she wrote what she did. She is stating that while what happend in Newtown was devastating, there were 9 other children that were killed in a horrible manner, yet they only recieved a 6" strip on an entire page. I understand her frustration and while I too am saddened by what happend here in our own Country, there are others that deserve to be heard about as well, regardless if they are in a war torn Country, they too were innocent children. I dont think it means she cares any less for the children that passed on here. I believe the other commentor turned it personal when the statement was made that "her priorities were whacked". We all have opinions and not everyone is going to agree with them, simply move on to the next comment if you dont.
Mike Urena December 20, 2012 at 07:35 PM
I'm guessing T-Bird was expressing frustration at the assertion that the land mine that killed those poor girls was American made and that somehow it was more appropriate to mourn them than the children in Conneticut. That's obviously a false choice and an unneccessary analogy. The landmine wasn't "American made" but a either legacy of the Soviet-Afghan war or a product of Taliban tactics. Far more importantly both atrocities are unbearable.
T-Bird December 20, 2012 at 08:08 PM
You are guessing correctly.
T-Bird December 20, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Clearly, this comment section just showed how much love the people of Northern Virginia has. For themselves that is. Really, I've never lived in an area where so many people have such utter contempt for each other, and such a utter lack of any form of empathy or common decenacy. While people have the "right" to have their own opinion, they do not have the right to post it anywhere they like. And I have a right to object. That's why there are posting policies on the internet. You are truly a sad bunch of people. I hope nobody from Newton ever sees this.
lisa abrahams December 20, 2012 at 08:36 PM
T-bird.... I th.nk you are turning this into something its not and dedinatley reading more into it than it isn't. As for your comment about people not being allowed to post opinions anywhere they like, unfortunately my friend you are incorrect. It's called "freedom of speach" and people can post what they like, where they like. Like I said before.... Not everyone is going to agree with other people's comments, but that is life and you move on. Everyone is deeply saddened by what has happened, here and abroad, the other poster simply didn't think it fair that one incident received more space than another. It doesn't mean you care less for one than the other. It's really very simple.
T-Bird December 20, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Freedom of Speech??? Are you kidding? So let me get this straight: The Patch (Dusty) deleted three of my comments. So tell me, should I file a civil rights suit?? Did they infringe on my supposed "freedom of speech"? Or is that "right" only reserved for people with whom you agree with?? No, Lisa I am correct. The term "Freedom of Speech" means freedom from oppression of free speech and the press from the GOVERNMENT. As an individual citizen, and the Patch as a private company, cannot commit a "Freedom of Speech" violation. Websites like this have rules, applied somewhat arbitrarily sometimes, which is why they can delete comments. That is because your "freedom" on this site does not extend to vile and offensive comments like the one above. There are rules to follow. In fact, posting on here is not a freedom at all, but a privilege which can be revoked at any time. So going back to what I said, no you cannot post whatever you like wherever you like. And "freedom of speech" does not mean you get to speak whatever you like without consequences, as you seem to think. Perhaps you should've listened in high school civics. Thanks for proving my point.
T-Bird December 20, 2012 at 09:55 PM
And by the way, I would not ask for someone's comment to be deleted simply because I disagree, as you suggest. If you read my other comment, I already said that. But I would if I think it offensive. I guess since you don't agree, you've decided it was easier to misrepresent what I said instead of attempting to explain your point.
Carol Lewis December 20, 2012 at 10:34 PM
T-Bird, As you said freedom of speech applies to the government not prohibiting it, not private companies that can have their own rules of discussion and what they will permit and what they won't. As for the post that you found offensive, I can understand your objection to the misapprehension on the part of the poster that the bomb was American made, but she is free to put her sympathies and sorrow where she pleases. I think that we all mourn the death of children no matter where they are and we mourn the deaths of our troops as well. I don't see her comment as anywhere near being an attack on Newtown. Please, this is a sad time for all of us. Don't make it worse for her or us or yourself by continuing down this road. It is possible to feel sad for more than one group of people. As for your attack on those of us who live here, I think there have been times when the discussion on Patch has been less than civil, but we are caring people who feel just as passionately about our point of view as you do about yours. I find your comment that we are lacking in love somewhat offensive, but I'm not asking that it be taken down. I just wish you didn't feel that way and am sorry for you that you do.
T-Bird December 20, 2012 at 11:45 PM
What makes it worse is the original comment. What makes it worse is that some people think it's ok. That's what makes it worse. A person comes to a page like this, which was intended to be a memorial, and uses it as a soapbox for politically tinged rantings, and that's ok? No. Remove the comment and I will stop. That would be doing the right thing.
T-Bird December 20, 2012 at 11:49 PM
And don't feel sorry for me. Every day in the streets and stores of this community I see the insensitivity and callousness that simply bleeds over into here. And it only gets worse. If there is heart in this community, I have in 7 years yet to see it. Perhaps you remember a different time.
Carol Lewis December 20, 2012 at 11:51 PM
I see nothing in the comment that even begins to look like a rant. She said she had love for the Newtown victims. I think if you look back through the posts, yours are the ones that are rants. Please give this up...or if not, perhaps the editor can take down all posts except those that express only love for Newtown.
Beth Lawton (Editor) December 20, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Hi all, We are shutting down comments on this thread. We hoped that people would take this opportunity to upload positive images and leave comments supporting those in Newtown who have lost loved ones right at the holidays without turning this into a political debate. Unfortunately, we aren't seeing that sentiment from some of our readers. Thanks to those who followed the spirit of this post. Beth Lawton Regional Editor, Northern Virginia

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