Local Organization Offering Ways To Honor 12/14

Newtown Action Alliance (NAA), an action-based grassroots organization founded after 12/14 by Newtown residents that is dedicated to reversing gun violence in this nation, and its sister organization, The Newtown Foundation, focused on educational, healing, and cultural programs, invite the public to take part in three projects designed to move our community forward as the first anniversary of 12/14 draws near.

NAA will mail “Remember Newtown” holiday cards to Congressmen and/or Senators for residents. Two, five or 15 cards featuring an image of Main Street, Newtown, on the front, can be purchased for $5, $10 and $26, respectively, at www.shop.newtownaction.org. The drawing is the work of Bethel artist Paul Siegel.

The reverse side of the card reads, “What happened in Newtown could happen in any town or city, and it does. Please remember each of the 30,000+ annual gun violence victims and their families this holiday season, and when returning to Congress in 2014. —Wishing you and your family hope, peace & love.”

Card senders can select specific members of Congress to receive the messages, or let NAA direct the cards where they are most needed.

Positive messages of hope and peace can be sent to friends and family with the purchase of holiday cards featuring iconic Newtown scenes, or by purchasing Newtown ornaments as gifts.

NAA founder Dave Ackert of Sandy Hook is particularly hopeful that residents will help him and The Newtown Foundation pay it forward by taking part in the Thursday, December 12, volunteer event in Washington, D.C., to help those in need. The volunteer effort will be followed that day by a National Vigil for Gun Violence Victims at the National Cathedral, co-sponsored by the Newtown Foundation and Faiths United Against Gun Violence.

“We’re hoping to be able to bring victims and family members from all over the country, including our area — people from places like Oakland, Chicago, and Florida have already starting making plans to attend,” Mr Ackert said in a e-mail to The Bee. “As such, we are seeking sponsors and donations of travel and lodging services, and cash. There is a crowd sourced fundraiser set-up at www.rally.org/vigil for anyone who wishes to help.

“While much depends on our fundraising results, we are planning on hosting at least one bus from Newtown,” he also said. Inquiries about vigil planning, attendance, participation, and logistics should be directed to info@newtownfoundation.org, as can inquiries concerning sponsorship and fundraising.

NAA and The Newtown Foundation also want to remind people that simple, random acts of kindness are powerful messages. Additionally, people across the country are encouraged to change their Facebook hometown profiles to Newtown for the weekend of 12/14, or to change profile pictures to the “Remember Newtown” image.

For additional information on this effort, visit www.Facebook.com/NewtownActionAlliance.

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