For the second year in a row, the Cards For Kids Project is up and running to send thousands of holiday cards to children impacted by mass shootings.
SUNY Oswego Criminal Justice Professor and National Expert on Mass Shootings, Jaclyn Schildkraut, is coordinating the project for children who have lost relatives due to mass shootings in Parkland, Sutherland Springs and Las Vegas.
The effort started last year when Schildkraut ended up adopting a family of three boys who’s mom was killed in the Las Vegas mass shooting. Schildkraut sent them a Christmas present, which ultimately started the Cards For Kids project.
For some, the holidays are their favorite time of year. For others, that’s not always the case. Schildkraut explained how she knows the children have already lost so much and she wanted her effort to lighten the load of grief they’re dealing with.
“So you already know these kids have lost so much,” Schildkraut said. “It was done by an act of evil and we’re just hoping to show them that there’s still good in the world. There’s a lot of people that care about them, that love them and want them to have a really good holiday.”
Schildkraut receives cards every day. On Facebook, over 5,000 cards have been pledged so far and close to 10,000 cards are expected to be delivered to the children.
When someone experiences a traumatic event, it can hard for them to get used to their new normal, especially when the holidays come around. To enhance their well being, there are some other things that can be done.
“Realize that it’s okay to not be okay,” Schildkraut explained. “I think that’s the biggest thing. We stigmatize people and we say you should just move on or get over it. The reality is that they’re never going to get over it.
Schildkraut also shared that allowing yourself to grieve will give you the ability to feel what you need to, which is a really important part of the process.
The project is also collecting general cards for the communities of Pulse, Aurora and Sandy Hook. The goal is for all cards to be collected by December 17th.
For more information on how to help, click here or email Jaclyn.Schildkraut@oswego.edu.