It’s a small gesture that will touch hearts nationwide.
“They’re so sweet,” said Jaclyn Schildkraut, a SUNY Oswego associate professor of criminal justice. “They’ll say things like, ‘I just want to be your friend,' and 'I hope you have a really good holiday,' or 'I just wish you a smile.’”
It’s these messages of love, hope, and honor that help families like the Schachters overcome their heartache.
“It’s just overwhelming to think all of these people care about my family after this horrible tragedy,” said Max Schachter.
Schachter lost his 14-year-old son, Alex, in the Parkland, Florida shooting in 2018. Alex was one of the 17 victims killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where he was known for his musical talent.
“When we get letters like that saying ‘I was in the marching band,’ or ‘I am in the marching,’ and ‘I really identified with Alex,’ and ‘I think I would have been great friends with him,’ it just melts my heart,” said Schachter.
Schildkraut wants to continue to let these families know that they and their loved ones are not forgotten. For the fourth year, she is collecting cards to send to those impacted by mass shootings.
“There’s nothing more rewarding and fulfilling than being able to send a smile, especially at a hard time,” said Schildkraut. “If there is ever a hard time where people need a little bit of extra love and a few extra smiles, this year is definitely it.”
The cards can be handmade or store bought. They’ll go to 75 children and others in 16 communities nationwide. She hopes to beat last year’s goal of 11,000.
“One of the main protocols that we’re asking if for people not to lick envelopes,” said Schildkraut. “So, envelopes can be taped shut or stick the flap on the inside.”
December 9 is the deadline to send in cards. Schachter said he’s looking forward to another delivery of kindness.
“Thank you to everyone for taking the time for caring about my children and about Alex,” said Schachter. “Because of you, we’re going to make this world a better place.”
For more information on donating money to cover shipping fees and sending cards, email Schildkraut at Jaclyn.Schildkraut@gmail.com.
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