People who lost loved ones in a mass shooting will have to cope with their tragedy for the rest of their lives.
SUNY Oswego Criminal Justice Professor Jaclyn Schildkraut wants them to know they are not alone by collecting cards for children affected by mass shootings in Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Texas, and Parkland, Fla.
"We tend to almost have this mass shooting fatigue where we accept it as part of our everyday society and we move right along,” Schildkraut said. “And the reality for these families is that they never move right along."
The cards will go to 70 children and young adults between the ages of 1 and 24 years old.
"People can do homemade, they can do store bought, they can write one per child, one per family,” said Schildkraut. “We'll give you the name, so if they want to personalize them, they can do that. It doesn't have to be big or fancy, it's more about the thought behind it."'
Schildkraut sent about 2,000 cards last year, but she hopes to collect 5,000 this year. So far, she's off to a good start, with more than 2,000 cards pledged.
"They just need support to know that we're there,” said Anthony Passero, a SUNY Oswego student. “It's important for them and it's important for us. It grounds you and keeps you humble. It's exciting and I'm looking forward to doing it."
"It's sort of really bittersweet, because here we are doing something so wonderful, but we're doing it because they lost so much,” said Schildkraut. “It's really important for me to show them that even though evil did take somebody away from them, there is still good in the world."
For more information on how to participate, email Schildkraut at Jaclyn.Schildkraut@oswego.edu.