It's hard to believe it's been a month since 26 lives were lost behind the doors of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. While the nation tried to process its grief, a beautiful thing happened: Kindness.
#26Acts, a movement to memorialize the victims with simple acts, started as a whisper. It's now a full-blown conversation. Weeks after most online trends die off, #26Acts continues, and it is a bittersweet coda to Newtown's loss. "Never forget," the phrase repeats over and over. It has only been a month, but people haven't forgotten. In fact, they are actively trying to keep Newtown and Sandy Hook in their thoughts. Here are some of the most recent moments in kindness:
Free carousel rides: Destiny USA, a mall in Syracuse, New York, will be providing free rides on its historic carousel for 20 days thanks to a generous contribution by an anonymous donor. The anonymous central New York resident specifically said the donation was in honor of the 20 children and six adults who lost their lives at Sandy Hook a month ago.
“When the Destiny USA team heard about this generous donation from an anonymous individual, it humbled all of us,” the general manager of Destiny USA stated in a release. “It reminds us that there are so many individuals who work hard each day to make sure children are having fun, are safe and well."
Strides for Sandy Hook 5K: Residents and supporters of Newtown, along with Newtown Parks and Recreation, have come together to organize the "Strides for Sandy Hook" race, which will help fund a memorial for the victims.
Sandy Hook Run for the Families: Another race, organized by the Hartford Marathon Foundation, is scheduled for March 23. All runners, donors and participants are assured their donation will go in full to the Sandy Hook School support fund. A future race, the ING Hartford Marathon "26 Miles for 26 Lives," is also in the works.
#SandyHookPromise: A group of grieving Newtown citizens has started Sandy Hook Promise, an organization committed to common sense solutions for gun violence. If you wish to show your support, you can sign the the promise on its website. However, it must be noted that while the group is composed mostly of people affiliated with Newtown and Sandy Hook, the group does not speak for all the families, victims and citizens. One father of a Sandy Hook victim told CNN that while the group has good intentions, he feels it focuses too narrowly on gun violence.
Unique acts for unique lives: Many people have tailored their #26Acts list to include things that correspond to the victims' specific personalities or passions. One HLN viewer shared her full list of 26 acts, and still more are cropping up on Twitter every day:
— Bobby Intharaksa (@intharaksa) January 14, 2013
— Michael Lay (@mrmichaellay) January 14, 2013