FC Serves: Sandy Hook Tribute

FC Serves: Sandy Hook Tribute

Dundee fifth-graders with their "Baskets of Thanks"

Dundee fifth-graders with their “Baskets of Thanks”

On December 14, 2013, Volunteers On Call and the International School at Dundee partnered together to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting one year after the tragedy. In respect to the privacy requested by the residents of Newtown, Dundee and VOC put together a tribute to emergency services in Greenwich in recognition of the heroic actions of police, firefighters, and EMTs that take place every day across the nation when disaster strikes.

Volunteers On Call provided large baskets, which the Dundee students filled with drawings, notes, baked goods, and more. One fifth-grade class even wrote and took pictures for a storybook about firefighters. Something Special, a flower shop in Old Greenwich, chipped in by donating festive napkins to go with the baked goods. After a weeklong effort, the students put the finishing touches on eight overflowing “Baskets of Thanks” that were delivered to each of the firehouses that serve the Greenwich community.

Juliana Collamer, executive director of Volunteers On Call, attended the International School at Dundee as a child and was thrilled to be working with her alma mater.

“One of the most memorable aspects of my time as a student at Dundee was the emphasis placed on character and giving back,” Collamer said. “As such, speaking with the current students about how they can get involved with service at a young age was a particularly meaningful experience for me.”

One Sandy Hook victim in particular, six-year-old Daniel Barden, served as inspiration for the collaboration between VOC and Dundee. After their son’s untimely death, Daniel’s parents established the “What Would Daniel Do?” Foundation with the mission of inspiring and empowering every person to act with kindness in order to make a positive cultural change. Upon learning about the efforts of the Dundee students, Daniel’s parents reached out to say, “This is extremely moving! Thank you SO much to each and every one of you for honoring those who were taken and working so hard to turn something so tragic into something positive. Please know that you are and will continue to make a difference. Thank you!”

The “Fairfield County Serves” partnership between Volunteers On Call and the students at the International School at Dundee brought light and joy to an otherwise dark day. Volunteers On Call encourages individuals and organizations to get involved with similar initiatives and give back in small (or big!) ways whenever possible.