Over 20 Nice Things HR Pros (and everyone) can do to Honor the Sandy Hook Victims

After the unspeakable Newtown tragedy that occurred last Friday, it’s left many of us wondering what we can do to help, in the trying times. Anyone in a management position, has a unique opportunity to do good right now. Based on Anne Curry’s call to do 26 nice things in honor of the victims, I tried to brainstorm some ways we can help as HR managers. I’ve compiled a list of nice things you a can do with or for employees, each to represent the victims of the Newtown tragedy.

1. Charlotte Bacon, 6; Charlotte Bacon died wearing a brand new outfit from her uncle, a pink dress and boots. To honor her memory, your company, or an employee in it, could donate a giftcard to a less-fortunate family with a young girl.

2. Catherine Violet Hubbard, 6; This gorgeous vivacious red head, was destined for greatness. It is with great sadness her parents ask for your prayers. Keeping this tragedy in our prayers is one kind act we can all complete.

3. Olivia Engel, 6- In a Facebook post from Olivia’s family they describe the beautiful, young girl.

“She was very creative and was always drawing and designing things,” says her family.

In honor of this bright creative young life cut out to short, you could pay for an employees daughter to take art classes, or sponsor art classes for a little girl who otherwise couldn’t afford it.

4. Dylan Hockley, 6- Dylan was a gorgeous young boy who was seemingly adored by everyone who knew him. To honor this young British immigrant who loved martial arts life, sponsor a young a martial artist’s training.

5. Jesse Lewis, 6- Jesse who loved math, horse-back riding and playing outside on his moms farm. He and his dad had plans to make a ginger bread house when he got home from school on Friday. Buy a gingerbread house making kit for a family.

6. Ana Marquez-Greene, 6- Her father’s daughter, Ana was a prolific jazz singer already. Maybe a young girl in your community could use voice or dance lessons, you or an employee could sponsor it on Ana’s behalf.

7. Josephine Gay, 7- Josephine had just turned 7. No one would have guessed she wouldn’t make it to 8. Her favorite color was purple. Buy a special little girl or boy who loves purple, a gift in that color.

8. Madeleine F. Hsu, 6- Madeline’s personality is described as “bright,” “sparkling,” “unique,”  and “sweet.” She dressed to match favoring bright floral dresses. Buy a special, bright, little girl a pretty floral dress.

9. Caroline Previdi, 6- This “precious” “little angel,” as she is described on a Facebook page in her memory, had a smile that was undeniably infectious. Help an employee obtain dental insurance for their kids.

10. Jessica Rekos, 6- This special little girl was a great big sister, and an animal-lover.  She especially loved horses and Orcas whales. Adopt an Orcas whale from the WWF in her name.

11. Emilie Parker, 6- Emilie has garnered a lot of attention from the press because her father was able to speak so eloquently at the time of her death. Help him, and all the other surviving victims of this tragedy, donate to the Emily Parker Fund.

12. Noah Pozner, 6- It was 2 days before the end of Hanukka when Noah passed away. Volunteer your time at your local Synagogue to remember his young life.

13. Jack Pinto, 6; This little man was a wrestler, and exuberant athlete of many forms. Some kid out there can’t afford to buy sports equipment. Help a young wrestler or football player out by buying him some much needed equipment.

14. Avielle Richman, 6; Avie, as her parents called her, loved music, archery, kung fu, swimming, ice skating and superheros, among other things. Buy a family a pass at the ice skating rink.

15. Grace McDonnell, 7; Girly girl Gracie, as she was known,  loved art, soccer, gymnastics and her love for her dog, Puddin. Volunteer time at a human society.

16. Chase Kowalski, 7; Chase was a Cub Scout who loved playing ball, riding his bike or quad, and attending the kids workshop at the Trumbull Home Depot. He’d already completed a triathlon. Participate, or sponsor someones participation in a triathlon.

17. James Mattioli, 6; Budding mathematician James loved sports, singing, and ending his day by cuddling on the couch with his mom. Buy a math text book for a college student next quarter.

18. Benjamin Wheeler, 6; This bundle of energy excelled at music and enthusiastically ran to  and from the stage to perform his piano piece at a recent recital. He won’t get to open his model of Manhattan’s No. 7 subway train this Christmas, but somebody’s kid should, buy one and give it out.

19. Allison N. Wyatt, 6; Aspiring artist Allison, was a funny, kind-hearted little girl. Her parents remember her making them laugh until they cried, and once offering her snack to a person on a plane. Make someone’s child’s art last, get it framed for them.

20. Daniel Barden, 7; At the age of 4, Daniel was paired with special needs kids because he showed signs of an especially compassionate nature. Honor his life by volunteering with special needs children.

Rachel D’Avino, Dawn Hocksprung, AnneMarie Murphy, Lauren Russeau, Mary Sherlach, and Victoria Soto all lost their lives protecting children. Rachel D’Avino was  passionate about her work as a behavioral therapist for children on the Autistic spectrum. Her family is asking for donations to Autism Speaks, an advocacy organization, instead of flowers. It seems particularly fitting in light of the circumstances. Remember these heroic women by helping out educators in any way possible. Whether it be through donations, volunteering, or even prayers.

Obviously these are just suggestions, and however you want to help is up to you. Employees could each pick a cause, or the company could do 26 nice things, and encourage employees to do the same.  As an HR pro, we are in a unique position, to bring people’s efforts together and really do some good, it’s important we take advantage of this. Not only will it help honor the victims, but it will help heal our wounds and move forward.


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