Newtown groups open week of 'acts of kindness'

Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown

December 9, 2013 9:08:03 AM PST
A youngster critically wounded in a shooting, volunteer advocates and elected officials are kicking off an "acts of kindness" week in Connecticut to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal joined the United Way and others Monday. They called for volunteer work and other service to honor the 20 children and six educators killed on Dec. 14, 2012.

Blumenthal says volunteerism can establish a "more peaceful and better way."

Tyrek Marquez, a 12-year-old Hartford boy who was shot in the head at a parade when he was 7, says he has helped lobby Congress to impose gun restrictions and otherwise worked against gun violence.

Newtown is not hosting formal events to mark the anniversary Saturday. Town officials have been urging residents to honor the victims by committing acts of service and kindness.

Connecticut's governor is calling for houses of worship to mark the first anniversary of the school shooting by ringing their bells 26 times - once for each of the victims killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Last year Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asked for bells to toll exactly one week after the Dec. 14 shooting.

He writes in an op-ed piece that he hopes houses of worship and other organizations will do the same thing at 9:30 a.m. next Saturday for people to grieve and to find the "spirit of compassion and togetherness" that emerged in the days after the tragedy.

On the anniversary the governor is urging people to donate to a charity, volunteer in their communities or appreciate time spent with friends and family.