I've lived in Sandy Hook for over twenty years and in that time this sleepy little town has grown quite a lot. I'm always amused when someone asks me where I live because they've never heard of the place or think I live in Sandy Hook, NJ.
We all know that's changed due to the heartbreaking tragedy that put our town on the map for reasons none of us would have ever wanted.
Between tears and heartache, I decided to take what I know and use that to help others. I'm not one who can just sit and do nothing. I have to help. I'm the President & Founder of Kitten Associates, the NEW Breed of Cat Rescue, and the one thing I know about is the healing power of spending time with cats.
In less than a week after the shooting, my program, “Kitties for Kids” was up and running. Although it's focused on children, it's open to anyone in Newtown who feels spending time playing with and petting kittens would help them find their smile. The program is simple: come to my home in Sandy Hook, meet my belly-rub-loving cats and our foster kittens. We'll have fun and laughs and listen to purrs galore. At the end of the 30 minute visit, children (and adults, too!) will recieve a plush cat toy as a rememberance of our time together. For complete details about our program just visit http://patch.com/E-scXl or our web site: http://www.kittenassociates.org
To date we've had 30 people take part in our program, some of them children from Sandy Hook Elementary. I'm thrilled to report that so far we're seeing a lot of smiles and getting some really special hugs from the kids. We've been blessed by so many wonderful people all over the country who donated plush cat toys to us.
Although I realize petting a cat isn't going to heal the deep wounds in our town; it's a start, a reminder that it's okay to smile again and in that small joy, perhaps a spark will ignite a flame of true happiness one day.