Following the tragedy in Newtown, Ct., Connecticut PTSA, with the support of National PTA, offered individuals a unique opportunity to let the students of Sandy Hook know that an entire nation supports them. The concept was simple: individuals were invited to send snowflakes of all shapes and sizes, and PTA volunteers would use those snowflakes to welcome students to a winter wonderland at the new Sandy Hook school building.
In January, I had the tremendous privilege of witnessing the flood of love and goodwill from around the world. Snowflakes poured in by the truckload, in an overwhelmingly touching display of solidarity of parents around the world, as they came together to show their support for the victims of this horrible tragedy. During my visit to the community, I was honored to share in the experience of opening the letters and seeing the snowflakes sent in by those wishing to demonstrate their love for the Newtown families.
The outpouring of support and the number of participants was inspiring – the Connecticut PTSA received so many snowflakes that they did not have the office space to accommodate them all. They have hung as many as possible in the school; the rest were used to decorate other schools in the community.
The experience was indescribable and completely awe-inspiring as the entire world surrounded this community in its time of need. Though Connecticut PTSA is no longer accepting snowflakes, the message of Snowflakes for Sandy Hook should not be forgotten: we must continue to rally together in support of all of our children, in good times and in bad, to ensure their success in the future.
Betsy Landers is the President of National PTA in Alexandria, VA.
Second image courtesy of Lifetouch National School Studios Photography.