This has been a year like no other. We say that despite having been catapulted into a new reality in 2012, when our daughter Jessi was murdered in the Aurora gun massacre. For us, this is not the worst year of our lives. But this year, the whole nation is facing pain, fear and loss on a horrifying scale, and we’ve been prevented from one of our most meaningful activities — one that we embarked on nearly a decade ago to assuage our own and others’ grief.
Because of the pandemic, our RV is parked. Since March, we’ve not been able to physically visit people around the country who need a hand to hold, listening ears, and a way forward. But we have been far from idle, and we’ve become masters of Zoom. With your support, we were able to regroup, plan for the future, keep interacting, and help put things into place for next year. In 2021, we are hoping you will continue to support us, as we support others who need understanding, help, and concrete ways to overcome their sorrow.
During the lead-up to this year’s election, as individuals and through our 501-c-4 organization, we were active in supporting candidates we believe will bring about a new day for gun safety. We are more than gratified that our dear friend Mark Kelly is a new senator for Arizona, and Joe Biden is president-elect of the United States, with Kamala Harris poised to serve as his vice president.
We continue to advocate for common-sense gun laws as well as our partnership with Giffords.org, the organization founded by former congresswoman and gun-violence survivor Gabrielle Giffords, who also just happens to be married to Sen. Kelly. We have helped organizations like San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention organize and have grown our roster of therapists.
In addition, Sandy was profiled in an article for San Antonio Magazine and we are thrilled to announce that our mindfulness training program for survivors, conceived in collaboration with the University of California at San Diego and Shelly Tygielski, is launching in January.
None of this can happen without your participation. We hope you continue to support our efforts to prevent gun violence and the needless suffering inflicted on victims and their families.
Here’s what monetary help can buy:
$10 can help us defray our subscription fees for computers and software;
$25 can underwrite the cost of sending one of our books to a fellow survivor;
$100 can be used as an honorarium for a Zoom event speaker;
$500 can be allocated to RV expenses when we’re rolling again;
$1,000 can help underwrite the cost of sending a survivor to our upcoming wellness seminar.
Of course, we have a full complement of continuing costs associated with pursuing this work. Whatever you are able to donate, it can help us to do research, stay connected, reach out, and keep our website and newsletter flowing to you. We are committed to supporting the gun safety movement with the time, money, heart, and brainpower at our disposal — and we are grateful for any contributions that add to those resources!
One of the great satisfactions of starting Survivors Empowered is the fellowship we have found. We are so grateful for all the many people who have gone from strangers, to acquaintances, to devoted friends. We are on a continuing journey of learning and making this world safer, saner, and happier. Thank you for all your support!
With friendship and appreciation,
Sandy and Lonnie
P.S. — May the upcoming holidays be peaceful and gratifying for you all.