We are on the verge of a new year, past the winter solstice, with more light each day as the days grow longer. As we prepare for our 2022 Honor with Action tour, we are uplifted by that meteorological fact, and the wonderful response we’ve already gotten to our annual appeal!
We feel immense gratitude to recent donors who believe in our cause, and have given substantial contributions. Among them, two want to encourage others to give by providing matching donations. One is willing to match up to $10,000 in the New Year; the other $5000. If you're considering a donation to Survivors Empowered before the new year, your gift will be doubled because of their generosity.
Support comes in many forms, of course, and we can’t say enough about how much we appreciate a host of allies.
Those who have suffered from and are anguished by gun violence have been repeatedly retraumatized (with a great spike over the last two years) by escalating gun crimes, deaths and injuries. But we are not alone. We take comfort in the partnerships we have, and the shared brainstorming and actions we’re developing. We take comfort in YOU.
The Honor with Action tour will reflect this mutual aid and new efforts we’re planning for 2022. There’s something else rolling out, too; we and Giffords will be releasing a new toolkit for survivors. We are so eager to share it soon — perhaps close to Jan. 8, the day in 2011 when our friend Gabby Giffords' life was irrevocably changed in a mass shooting that killed six people and injured 12 more.
Another cause for satisfaction: We’re looking forward to the start of a new mindfulness meditation class designed specifically for those affected by gun violence. Are you interested in joining? There’s more information about this free offering below, and here.
Speaking of information, this issue of our newsletter has its usual roundup of news and survivors’ voices, and a feature about Joseph Jaskolka, who was shot and paralyzed as the consequence of “celebratory gunfire” just after midnight on New Year’s Eve, 1999.
We are grateful for the ability to get our message out, and use our voices to help reach other survivors in need and the public at large. We continue to publish opinion pieces in prominent outlets, and are regularly called upon as sources. Within the last few weeks, we have connected with groups and individuals affected by the school shooting in Oxford, Michigan.
But our access is built upon the horror of loss we experienced when our Jessi was murdered in a mass shooting nine years ago. We share with and rely upon our fellow survivors, and with every ounce of our energy, we are working to help avoid the same bitter reality for others.
We are resolved. We recognize the continuing toll of tragedies, but we are energized by our many friends and partners, and the path we see opening before us. As it is the dawn of a new year, we include in this issue some specific ideas for what all of us can do. We hope you will be able to join us at one of our many stops along the Honor with Action tour route!
In solidarity, wishing you Happy New Year — and peace.
Sandy and Lonnie