As we began our work week on Monday, we mourned with the rest of the country the deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. We, like many others, wanted to help in some way, and thought our best response would be to share books that could offer comfort and guidance: Earl A. Grollman's Living When a Loved One Has Died and Talking About Death: A Dialogue Between Parent and Child.
When we posted the offer, we were met with an immediate, emotional response from our Facebook fans and Twitter followers. The posts were shared and retweeted, and emails forwarded to friends in need.
Our distributor, Random House, offered its help with fulfilling the large number of requests we received, waiving all charges to Beacon for shipping the orders. We especially want to thank the people who work in their Westminster, MD, warehouse, who found a way to schedule this special project during a busy season while they were getting ready for their holiday breaks. In all, we'll be mailing approximately 2,500 books, and about 90% will be shipped through Random House. We are deeply grateful for their generosity.
We hope everyone who receives books will share them with others in their communities who have a need for these resources.
We're including additional resources below shared by the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Trauma Response Resources for Families and Congregations
- Helping children and adolescents cope with violence and disasters: What community members can do.
A guide by the National Institute for Mental Health, for teachers, parents, clergy and community. Download the 20-page PDF, which is well presented and accessible.
- Managing Your Distress in an Aftermath of a Shooting
This is an excellent, well-written guide for parents and other adults by the American Psychological Association, published 2008. One of the best ways to help children is to put ourselves—parents, teachers, congregation members—on a path towards healing. This document could be very helpful.
- Tips for Parents of School Age Children: Helping Your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of School Shootings
Aimed specifically at parents working with their children. From the American Psychological Association, 2007.
- Helping Young Children Deal with Violence in the News
PBS Parents series about talking to your kids about the news.
- A Resource for Young People Who Have Personally Experienced Trauma
The National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement has many resources online that can help in times of crisis.
- Trauma in the Lives of Children: Crisis and Stress Management Techniques by Kendall Johnson.
- Children and Trauma: A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Cynthia Monahon.
- A Terrible Thing Happened: a story for children who have witness violence or trauma, by Margaret M. Holmes—addresses the need for children to find a place to speak about their experiences.
- Children's Ministry offers information on Critical Lockdown Procedures.
- The U.S. Department of Education offers information on Emergency Planning.
Promote Congregational Safety
- Protecting Your Church from Crime and Violence. Regular price: $17.95. Sale price: $14.95. Nine chapters. Particularly recommended: "A Shooter in the House—A Police Officer's Advice on How to Prevent and React to, a Gunman at Church." The entire document is 24 pages long.
- Confronting Gun Violence at Church. Regular price: $17.95. Nine chapters. Particularly recommended: "Should Our Church Have an Armed Security Guard?" The entire document is 22 pages long.