Spreading love, laughter and healing through the joy of percussion music, the creative arts and rhythmic dancing.
As December 2013 quickly approaches, I look back on this year and this Sandy Hook project with happiness and gratitude.
It’s been an incredible year of coming together, healing and moving forward through fun and engaging activities that foster acceptance and community.
In 2012, I, like so many others, needed to do something – anything – to help a shocked and grieving community cope with the unthinkable.
My Circles of Love’s Hand Drums & Hula-Hoops Project was born of that desire. The project itself – raising money to purchase and use hand-drums and hula-hoops to lift the spirits of those who needed it most came to me through my own personal experience the day following the tragedy.
While at a musical performance I reluctantly attended that evening, I experienced the power of communal rhythm and dance. Within a two hour time span, I went from uncontrollable tears to being filled with hope and love as the drums and rhythm filled the room and those around me started to move as one.
Slowly but surely that music and the connection it brought helped to lifted out of the darkness and brought me peace. That’s when I decided that drumming and rhythmic activities in a loving community setting is what I wanted and needed to offer to my grieving neighbors in Sandy Hook.
This year long project 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.
Through selfless monetary donations from personal friends around the country, I was 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 hoops was offered to workshop participants who used donated colorful hooping tape from Identitape in Colorado to beautifully decorate and personal. And each participant was able to keep their hoop and bring it home for future enjoyment.
In addition, the materials for 200 mini “rain sticks” were also purchased and 200 kids took part making, decorating and using that craft project during our drum circles. We’ll continue to create these and add them to the collection.
RHYTHM STICKS, SCARVES & RIBBONS
Our most recent purchase were the raw materials to create 26 sets of wooden rhythm sticks & dance ribbons. Dancing scarves have also been purchased. 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.
Working with HealingNewtown.org, 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.
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.
My Circles Of Love, in conjunction with HealingNewtown.org, is looking to help fun a dedicated Healing Arts Space where these workshops and drum circles and continue on a consistent basis.
“HOW CAN I HELP?” Glad you asked
:: email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
:: Looking for a tax-deduction? Please donate directly to HealingNewtown.org . In the spirit of #26acts, please consider donating $26.00 (or more) if you can.
LOVE WINS. Lets honor the memory of these beautiful souls and help all who are left behind enjoy the life they have been left to live through their own circles of love.Lets continue to build strong communities where kids and adults alike can engage in healthy activities and connect in positive ways to one another. Lets work together to make sure LOVE WINS every day.
Thank you! Join us, and please help spread the word ~ Janet. Maurice
More photos at http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/15/sandy-hook-school-shooting-victims-identified/1771867/