Whether they are sending a hand-made angel, a teddy bear, joining journalist Ann Curry’s 26 Acts of Kindness movement, or paying tribute in any one of numerous other ways, members of the Mount Wachusett Community College community are honoring the memory of the 20 school children and six educators who lost their lives on Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn.
President Daniel M. Asquino reflected on the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in a poignant holiday greeting to the college community this week. “Somehow we will all go on, but this event will shape our emotional and moral fiber for years to come. What I hope we can take away is a greater connection to one another, a greater respect for human life and a renewed commitment to stand together against violence of any kind.”
The tragedy “has seemed to take the place of what, for many of us, is typically a season of joy,” said Executive Vice President Ann McDonald. “While our hearts are heavy with grief for the families, teachers and friends of the victims of this senseless event, we deal with our own fears that surface as a result of this violent act. Nothing in our power can replace the lives lost or heal the shattered lives affected by this incident. But perhaps we can extend our sympathies through our expression of concern.”
With that in mind, Executive Vice President McDonald and the Division of Student Services and the Student Life office are joining in the Angel Project initiative that is taking place throughout the country. Craft materials have been provided this week for students, faculty and staff to create an angel to send to the grief-stricken community, along with sentiments written in a book of condolences to let the members of the Sandy Hook Elementary School community know they are remembered.
In addition, MWCC’s Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success and its Commonwealth Corps Peer Veteran Liaisons are collaborating with the Worcester-based nonprofit Spectrum Health Systems, Inc., to sponsor a teddy bear drive for Sandy Hook elementary School. The bears will be sent to schoolchildren in Newtown to provide comfort and also to let the community know they are in the hearts and thoughts of so many.
The Angel Project will continue through December 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the cafeteria hallway. The teddy bear drive will continue through Friday, Dec. 28. New or gently used bears and other stuffed animals will be collected in room 141. To arrange a pick-up, call 978-630-9855.