Music and dance bring & bind us together; they spread comfort & joy through our hearts, instilling a sense of community both large and small. With our circles of friends and family we create our own circles of love and fun where positive energy lifts us, heals us and inspires us.
These circles of love give us hope for better day – no matter our situation or circumstance. As local residents here in CT, my husband Mike and I want nothing more than to continue to help the wonderful village of Sandy Hook and community of Newtown move forward. As they heal, they give strength and hope to others everywhere facing loss and grief. We created the My Circles Of Love and began the Hand Drums & Hula-Hoops for Sandy Hook project to help them do just that.
As we move forward – away from healing and onto inspired action, it is our hope that through interactive, communal drumming, rhythm and dance activities, we can help kids and adults alike feel accepted, happy, empowered, valued and an integral part of a loving, supportive community. Preventing isolation, depression and violence is just as important as helping those who grieve. We believe participation in healthy activities is a great means to that end.
Working with HealingNewtown.org following the tragic incident of December 14th, 2012, My Circles of Love partnered with several talented hooping, drumming and creative arts specialists and countless volunteers to bring workshops and activities to the families of Sandy Hook and participants of all ages throughout the Newtown community.
Our initial project, Hand Drums & Hula-Hoops for Sandy Hook has been a wonderful success thanks to many kind souls who donated to the cause and gave of their time and talents these past 12 months at several workshops and events. The good times continue as we move into our next phase, focusing on inspiring others to pass it on.
Through selfless monetary donations from personal friends around the country, we were able to collect enough money to purchase 26 new children’s djembe hand drums from REMO. These were offered at a very generous discount to use for ongoing programming at Healing Newtown and other local venues.
Additional funds went towards the purchase of the materials needed to make 100 “hoopla-hoops” – or professional hula-hoops – that were the wonderful women from Bring The Hoopla crafted by hand. Each of these 100 basic black hoops were given to our workshop participants who in turn used donated hooping tape from Identitape of Colorado to beautify, decorate and personalize. All of these participants used their hoop during the workshop and brought their hoop home for future enjoyment.
In addition, the owner of The Inner Hoop of Long Island (a former Newtown resident) also graciously hand made and donated 16 beautiful fabric covered hoops for ongoing use at our CommUNITY drum circles.
A personal donation was made for the materials needed to craft 100 mini “rain sticks”. These fun hand-shakers were made, personally decorated and used during the drum circles and the kids were encouraged to take them home as well.
RHYTHM STICKS, SCARVES & RIBBONS
Our most recent purchase includes the raw materials to create 26 sets of wooden rhythm sticks & dance ribbons. Using wooden dowels from the hardware store, we cut, sanded and stained 26 pairs of sticks to be used for rhythm activities in future circles. Dancing ribbons and scarves have also been purchased and are being assembled for use going forward. As we grow the program, more and more participants will be able to enjoy and engage in a variety of ways with our circles of love.
Through the creation of a loving community of drumming, dancing, creating and self expression, we were successful in helping to restore joy and security.
As we move to the next phase, our ultimate goal remains: to give people in the Sandy Hook, & surrounding Newtown communities the means and instruction by which they can each create their own circles of love, both large and small whenever the spirit moves them for many years to come.
Ideally, this will be used as a model for other communities as they look to strengthen their community bonds to both prevent violence and alienation and help people heal from senseless acts of violence in the future. The more we prevent, the less we will need to heal. I hope the tides are turning.
Together, we can make it happen.
Although nothing can erase the sad realities of December 14th, kind acts from people around the world are helping to change the prevailing culture of violence and foster loving communities. We are turning sad days into happy ones and for my neighbors in Newtown CT, this has never been more important.
Healing Newtown is in need of a permanent art space to continue their programs and activities. You can help them with a tax deductible donation.
Please donate directly here HealingNewtown.org
Peace & thanks.
Janet & Michael Maurice
Join Us & Share.
- Follow the blog for upcoming & past events
- Check out photos & events on Facebook
- Follow and tweet #CirclesOfLove