There are many reasons why I was moved to compile letters from our residents and those who work in our town for publication.
After 12.14.12 I felt the need to do something to help my community. I became involved with the Newtown Documentation Project which is a group of volunteers who have been photographing, scanning and reading each and every one of the cards, letters and pieces of artwork that have been received in our town. After reading thousands and thousands (just part of over the one-half million or so pieces we have received in town) of letters, I became overwhelmed with all the love that was being received. And felt we should be sending out some love as well.
I also became frustrated by all the media who arrived in our town – never hearing of our little spot in the world before – and proceeding to report on who we were. I did not feel that the world was getting an accurate description of our town … how could you when you only knew of us through this tragedy and you never knew the ‘real’ people of our town. The world only knew us in sorrow – and we are much more than that.
As a writing major at WCSU and after spending time writing essays about my town and my life here I decided that the world should know Sandy Hook-Newtown the best way possible – from us! Those of us who live and work here. Those of us who grew up here. Those of us who were willing to share with others.
Thus the concept of the book started. My request was simple – write about our community. I spread the word to people I knew and asked them to spread the word to people they knew. “Letters from Sandy Hook-Newtown to the World” is the result.
For some this was a way for them to heal – to finally put pen to paper and express their feelings. For some it was one of the most difficult things they have done. For many people, it was too difficult to write a letter and I understand that. I hope for all – it was a worthwhile experience. I am proud of those who decided to share their feelings and I appreciate how hard it was to put their feelings out there to share with others.
Most importantly I feel that everyone should know that I did this project out of love. Out of love for my community. Out of love for those that are dealing with this tragedy on a personal level. And I do this to honor those families that are trying to make their lives a “new” normal. We are a small community. The phrase “everyone knows everyone” is true here. We have all been impacted by what happened.
ALL PROFITS RAISED BY THE SALE OF THIS BOOK WILL BE DONATED TO THE NEWTOWN MEMORIAL FUND AS WELL AS OTHER FUNDS IN OUR TOWN.