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Remembering Olivia Engel…

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My heart hurts. I feel helpless. I want to help. I need to help.

Here is an email that I received from reader, Kelly…

Friday morning, the best man in my upcoming wedding/ my fiancee’s best friend lost his daughter in the Newtown shooting. Olivia Engel was the sweetest little thing and we couldn’t be more devastated. We’ve set up a fund to help benefit her family.

We want to help make sure her services are covered and that her dad gets to stay home with the family for a few weeks to grieve and heal.

Here is the link to the benefit page. There are tons of recent pics of Olivia that we have permission to share: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfTheEngelFamilyFund

Any help you’re able to provide will be so appreciated.

If you feel as sad and helpless as I do and would like to do something, consider making a donation to Olivia Engel’s family. Here is the direct link to make a donation via Paypal. And if you know of other families who are suffering as a result of this tragedy (and you have permission to share their information), please mention them in the comments below or email me directly – collin@hip2save(dot)com

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174 Hip Readers Commented

  • Laura says:

    Thank you for posting this, Collin. This whole thing is horrifying and absolutely devastating. I posted it on Facebook too so all my friends and family can donate. I know so many people who are looking for a way to help but don’t know how.

  • Kelly says:

    You can not honestly tell your child this will never happen at their school.

  • Jenny says:

    :( RIP Olivia. So sad…

  • emilee says:

    It’s amazing to see all of the Hip2Savers coming together and discussing this civilly. So many people now-a-days have many negative things to say, and all of you are being so sweet and pouring your hearts out to these children. It’s wonderful to know there is still humane people out there. God Bless you all & may you all have a safe upcoming holiday weekend.

  • sara says:

    Thank you collin! My heart goes out to these poor families! Its an honor to be able to help , I hope these donations will be a small comfort for them.

  • Debbie says:

    Condolances to the Engel family and friends. I hope Olivia’s beautiful spirit will rest in peace.

  • Kristin says:

    Today while wrapping presents for my son I had an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness that I am able to do so, that he is here with me and healthy. And then I thought of all those precious parents that have presents under the tree for children that aren’t coming home..I feel so undeserving. I pray for them all.

    • Ashley says:

      I felt the same way. Seemed so trivial putting gifts under the tree after thinking of those families who probably have similar gifts under their trees, yet no child to open them. I’m now so grateful to have my children to spend Christmas with, and much less worried about what is under our tree for them.

    • Michelle Cristy says:

      I was so worried about having presents for my child on christmas. Now it just seems really unimportant when I think about those children who not only wont be openong gifts but wont get a chance to grow up and fall in love and have kids of their own or have the career they wanted or even just hug their mommy and daddy again……i am sooooo grateful that i have at least one of my children with me and she is happy and healthy.

    • April says:

      I must say I felt exactly the same way this weekend while wrapping gifts for my daughter, Olivia. I can’t imagine what the parents are going through. I would be an absolute wreck if anything happened to my daughter. She got many extra hugs, kisses, and cuddles the whole weekend.

  • Tina says:

    I just wanted to let you know about some special people that are doing something to help the children of Newtown, CT. Jesse Puzo Blaney is a first grade teacher in the Choconut School district and lives in Montrose, PA. here is one her FaceBook postings.

    I am working with a friend who recently moved to Newtown, CT. Her children attend one of the other elementary schools in the same dist
    rict as Sandy Hook. Our goal is to collect as many stuffed animals/teddy bears for all of the children in the school to help them as they grieve. I only have until Friday to gather them and deliver them to her. If you would like to help inbox me. I can accept Paypal donations and will purchase as many as I can get! Jpuzo1@gmail.com is the Paypal address.

    Trying to find a way to do something to reach out and offer our symapthy and love during this very sad time in Newtown we have decided to collect Teddy Bears to send to the school children in Newtown. The district is made up of four elementary schools and we would like to collect enough bears to send one for each child.We are working to coordinate with the Gehm Family who recently relocated there from Newark Valley and whose children attend school in the district. We wanted to send something for them to hug
    when they are sad or just having a tough time trying to understand what happened to their classmates and friends. We are asking that the bears be no larger than 8″ or so for ease of transport. We will be working with other areas to coordinate the drive as well. Details will be coming soon. Monetary donations will be accepted and passed on to Newtown Patch per Traci Gehm’s suggestion and she will make sure that we have that information to share with people. Collection points will be added here as well. For Newark Valley we will be partnering with the Cardinal Cafe for our collection point. The drive will run Sunday, December 16 through Saturday, December 22.
    She has been purchasing many stuffed animals and Kohl’s recently donated 289 additional stuffed animals. I wasn’t sure if any other Hip2Savers wanted to join this endeavor.

    On FaceBook search Newtown Teddy Bear Drive to learn more about this event.

  • Melanie says:

    Emliie Parker fund (6 year old victim) https://www.facebook.com/EmilieParkerFund?fref=ts

    • Autumn says:

      I personally did not like how the father was directly asking the public to give funds soon after his daughter was pronounced deceased!!! Absurd! Google to find the interview. In my opinion, no amount of money can mend my broken heart and I certainly would not go in front of the media to ask for funds. May the little angels rest in peace and some type of closure will surface. In hopes of putting an end to these horrifying shootings around the country!

      • April says:

        Hi Autumn,
        I don’t think any of us know what we would do unless we are in their situation. I believe the father is in total shock and may be coping by trying to be the provider for his family, even if that means asking for help. Please do not be quick to judge others. Thankfully we are not in their shoes and we do not know what we would say or do if this happen to us.

      • Stace says:

        I have not seen any interview of the dad asking for funds. I only have heard of an aunt mentioning a fund has been set up to help with the burial. All of the interviews I have seen are very uplifting.

      • gina says:

        at autumn, many of folks ask for help when true tragedys happen. Unless you are someone that has the 10,000+ to cover funeral cost up front. I think your comment was not needed. He did not ask for his child to be killed. You may not ask someone for help in a situation like that, but I bet they would offer you help when they hear your sorrow. No money can replace a life that is true. But his gesture is not to get rich off his childs unplanned death. I think its a little uncompassionate to think that. I only hope that you may never have to deal with anything like this in your life/loved ones in your family. Not only the children, but adults are lost as well. And at such a joyous time of the holidays. How awful to know every year you are now reminded of your child shot at school before christmas. I pray the Lord provide the strength these families will need.

      • Tara says:

        Against my better judgement here I am.
        I have never commented on hip2save before,
        but burst into tears after reading Autumns “opinion”.

        I’ll never understand how someone can be so narrow minded and callous.
        Undoubtedly no small words from me can change someones heart, but I feel
        inclined to defend my friend.

        Perhaps as Autumn directed people to do, you could find the FULL INTERVIEW.
        If you did that you would notice that the facebook page was NOT MENTIONED IN HIS STATEMENT TO THE PRESS. It was in response to a reporter and the END OF THE INTERVIEW WHEN HE WAS TAKING QUESTIONS, who asked how the public could help his family, if there was any vehicle established as of yet.

        How you missed the part about the Parker family reaching out to the attackers family in peace and love, and the part about how beautiful, creative and vibrant Emilie was is honestly incomprehensible. You probably also missed how the grandfather died tragically just a couple months ago… and instead choose to focus on what you judge as “Absurd!”…no words…just no words for it.

        Forgive me for my harsh tone.
        Maybe you could click on my blog and find pictures of Alissa and I on a girls trip last year.

        http://2boys2girls-thepainterfamily.blogspot.com/2011/02/mci-las-pdx-mci.html

        Autumn, I pray you have a friend that would defend your good name too.
        With my whole-heart I am sincere when I say that I really do pray you never ever ever have to experience the trials that the Parker family has endured in 2012.

        May God bless you and your family this holiday season, and may your heart soften with compassion for the dear Parker family.

        Sincerely,
        Tara Painter

        • Stace says:

          Thanks Tara. We have lost a child tragically and listening to this father brought back so many memories of those first feelings. I am so thankful that he was able to speak and help lift others even as he is hurting so deeply. I find it shameful that anyone can find fault with him as he grieves. God bless the Parkers and all of those suffering.

        • Kerry says:

          @ Tara – You are a wonderful person to speak up for your friend. People can be so quick to judge these days. Our nation, for the most part, is responding with love and kindness in the wake of this terrible tragedy. I will keep your friends and everyone else affected by this horror in my prayers every day.

      • CW says:

        It costs so much money to bury a person, let alone a child, and I doubt most people have $10-15,000 just sitting around for this. Most people dont even have a spare paycheck in savings. We dont know the situation. Maybe this family will NOT be getting paid time off/vacation time to do what needs to be done in regards to burying their child and grieving for them. I hope lots of people will open their hearts and help this family!

        • Autumn says:

          I apologize for offending anyone. :(

          • Kat says:

            To Autumn, that was a very sincere gesture you just made and this is a time where we need to pull it ALL together. I don’t want you to have a Christmas feeling down because of what our opinions are, you are human and you do have a right to what you need to say. We are not perfect by any means and I for one will NOT cast that first stone. You and your family have a wonderful Christmas and I pray that the rest of this wonderful group of people on Hip2Save will follow suit. HUGE HUGS to you Autumn :-)

            James 2:13 For the one who has shown no mercy will be judged without mercy.

  • Donna says:

    My heart aches for those families that lost loved ones. I cannot even begin to imagine their pain. I am praying for them all and hope they find comfort in their family and friends.

  • niki says:

    As my mother said to me this morning, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” I will be praying for Olivia, and the other families as well.

  • Manuela says:

    My heart is so sad and I feel devastated I can not even imagine how the parents, siblings, husbands, wife’s, children must feel like in this tragedy.
    I am sending prayers to the families and loved ones and the people in Newtown.
    What has the world become where evil takes the innocent?

    • Rebecca says:

      As a mother of children near the young victims’ ages myself, it’s terifying to think that this could’ve been any one of us as time and unforseen occurance do befall us all. I can only imagine what the families are feeling and going through and I pray for them all. Sadly this is part of this current world as fortold, “But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, 3 having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, 4 betrayers, headstrong, puffed up [with pride], lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; and from these turn away. “- 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
      I’m so thankful and grateful there’s a bright hope for the future, which has carried me through many hard times and tragedies myself. I hope to bring some comfort to others as well, “4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” “- Revelation 21:4. “the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment. “- John 5:27-29

      • Kat says:

        To Rebecca….I could NOT have said it better than the LORD Himself…thank you for the reminder. GOD BLESS EVERYONE and Merry Christmas!

  • Ashley says:

    I want to say, these children’s lives are not without purpose, they will make a difference in the lives of everyone in this nation. I have hugged and kissed and told my kids that I love them constantly the past couple days. I have been more kind to others, especially in front of my kids. I pray that everyone tries just a little harder to make the world a slightly better place. Our kids deserve it.

  • Riya says:

    I was so sad that I ‘ve stopped watching any news about it in the TV and I also dont want to discuss about this as it makes me feel very sad . No more words ….

  • Priya says:

    Thank you so much for posting this Collin. My heart is so heavy, especially for the parents and siblings of these precious little ones. Our prayers are with everyone affected by this horrible tragedy.

  • Jane says:

    My 8 year old and I made cards this evening for the first responders and for the family of the principal, Dawn Hochsprung. If you are also interested in sending words of encouragement here is the address for the Newtown Police Department – 3 Main Street., Newtown, Ct 06470. In my time of greif for this tragedy this is what I felt I could do

  • Lillian says:

    Please to all those generous people out there that want to donate double check before you make a donation. There are some sick people out there that will use this tragedy as a way to make money. As horrible as this is it has happened in the past. Just be cautious.

  • Leighton says:

    My heart breaks for these souls. I pray God comforts the families and allows them to find a way to cope. All my thoughts and prayers for these dear beings.

  • Sas says:

    Totally puts your life in prospective. What really matters. I donated but I can’t even read about these precious little children without crying. Ty Collin again for helping us to help and remember others. You really have used your voice to help so many people this year. God bless.

  • kvers says:

    I am from the Netherlands, my heart hurts as well for all the lives lost. Horrible.
    In Dutch Engel means Angel. I hope they will all rest in peace.

  • Dani says:

    My thought’s and prayers go out to Oliviak’s family and Everyone else affected by this “Senseless Tragedy!!! My you feel the Lord’s presence with you & may you feel HIS ARMS Wrapped around you when you need Comfort.

  • Lily says:

    This has helped me put my feelings and prayers back where they belong…with the fallen, the surviving children, teachers, the families and their community. Regardless of what the pundits are saying, this is an unapeakable thing that I have no adequate adjective for. The only way we ever get through any pain is TOGETHER. In this case it is vital on so many levels. With all my heart, thank you Collin for using your bit of Earth to remind us of that. Merry Christmas.

  • Jennifer D says:

    I have a goal to do one kind act a day this week and I am proud to say that this was a perfect start to my week. So glad I am able to help. My heart just breaks for all families involved in this horrible tragedy.

  • Nia says:

    My thoughts and prayers of comfort go out to the loved ones of those lost in the tradegy on Friday. I am thankful there is GOD who will welcome and take of of the young ones lost in heaven. I pray the families find comfort even in times of anger and confusion. May God bless them all – young and older…

  • sara says:

    Thank you Collin, when one feels helpless it’s these stories and small ways of helping that bring just a small bit of comfort. Thanks you

  • Suzanne H says:

    I was at lunch on Friday, trying to get ready for our office Xmas party, when I heard the news at a store. I asked the lady @ the store what had happened. When she told me, I started to cry then she started to cry. I spent the weekend hugging and kissing my kids. Those children have touched us all and made us all realize that we are the same – human – regardless of race, wealth, beliefs… What a beautiful difference they have made in our lives.

  • AlexG says:

    Parents, I went into my daughters 2nd grade class today, and the kids were talking about it. I posted earlier about wanting to be the one who talked to my child and I’m so glad I did. She knows what happened and I was able to explain it to her and reassure her she is safe. (As safe as we all can be…) If I hadn’t, she probably would’ve been terrified. Everyone parents how they wish, but on this one, I hope parents were the ones to deliver the news.

  • Michelle says:

    twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38

    when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
    their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
    they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
    they were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.

    they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
    “where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
    “this is heaven.” declared a small boy. “we’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”
    when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
    but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.

    He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
    then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
    and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
    those children all flew into the arms of their King
    and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
    one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
    and as if He could read all the questions she had

    He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”

    then He looked down on earth, the world far below
    He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
    then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
    “Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
    “may this country be delivered from the hands of fools”
    “I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”
    then He and the children stood up without a sound.
    “come now my children, let me show you around.”
    excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
    all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
    and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
    “in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

    Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

  • Kaylynn says:

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/15/us/iyw-help-for-victims-of-sandy-hook-shooting/index.html

  • People are scamming others for money already regarding this. Please becareful!

    http://myemail.constantcontact.com/BBB-Warns-of-Scams-in-Wake-of-Newtown-School-Shootings.html?soid=1011082572144&aid=Q-f1ow6zkP8

  • Kat says:

    I received a good amount of e-mails yesterday from my post and I promise to respond ASAP. Because of what my team and I do, I have been flooded with calls to have my team go to their schools to teach the children safety. Listen folks, it does no one good when we bicker at each other, this is the time we should pull together more so because I need to remind you parents, teachers and etc. that “copy-cat” crimes are on an all high and so should you be as well. This is why I strongly urged all the parents to sit down with your children and YOU speak to them because danger come in any form at any time, never forget that. It’s up to the parents to teach your children how to protect themselves when you’re not around to do so. I am a retired Chief Investigator, I was injured in the line of my duties to my city and now I am a part of McGruff the Crime Dog’s Team and I choose this job after my injuries because of my passion for protecting children. I know all too well the dangers out there and it’s not prejudice to age, race or religion. Our children are the most precious gifts and those gifts need to be instructed on all levels of life. I read a lot of those who took charge of teaching their children and was glad they did with no regrets. It’s a dangerous world out there and even though I carry a gun to stay alive, others will use it to destroy. Make your safety chart, have your children memorize it daily and have them spread those safety rules to other children, it does work. Let’s come together, all of us and make a difference.

  • I teach in a neighboring town, and have two of my own precious kiddos. With tears in my eyes, I can tell each one of you that your prayers, loving thoughts and generosity mean the world to our friends. Many thanks Hip2savers. There may be the worst possible tragedy surrounding us, but we are truly gifted with the best friends from lands far and near. God speed and Merry Christmas.
    And of course, much gratitude to you Collin. Your kind heart provides a vehicle to spread God’s love. (Please share with your grandma:)

  • Mary says:

    I am a teacher in Wisconsin. I was heartbroken all weekend for many reasons…one of which…wondering if I would have been so courageous?

    We had a 7:15 meeting with our Principal, and I was dreading seeing my kids and trying to answer their questions. They all knew…and the day carried on as usual! They were FINE!

    So, long story short, I would place myself in front of a door to protect one of my students. They are my children too!

    God Bless those parents!!

  • Becky says:

    I read about another way our children can get involved in helping the children in Newton whether we have told them everything or not about what happened – they are looking to have a winter wonderland to have the children come back to and they are asking for help from children around the country. What a wonderful idea to help make the transition back to school just a little bit easier. Here is a link with the details.

    http://www.11alive.com/news/article/268738/40/Snowflakes-for-Sandy-Hook-children

  • Katie says:

    Hello everyone, I wanted to share with you a friend of mine who is doing everything he can to help those hurt by the shooting. His name is Fr. Luke Suarez and is a priest at the St. Rose of Lima Parish (where Olivia’s funeral will be) just down the road from Sandy Hook Elementary. Seven of the victims came from the parish. He needs all of the prayers and support he can get as he selflessly does everything he can to support the community and victims. Another friend of his sent out this request and was posted on the following link.

    http://wondrouspilgrim.blogspot.com/2012/12/prayers-for-st-rose-of-lima-parish.html

    Regardless of anyone’s stance on the Catholic Church I think they can appreciate the prayers and support that is needed for the victims and anyone trying to help them. Please take a moment to read the letter in the link and if you are the praying type send a prayer up for Fr. Suarez and everyone involved in the CT shooting. Thank you!

  • Katie says:

    Hello everyone, I wanted to share with you a friend of mine who is doing everything he can to help those hurt by the shooting. His name is Fr. Luke Suarez and is a priest at the St. Rose of Lima Parish (where Olivia’s funeral will be) just down the road from Sandy Hook Elementary. Seven of the victims came from the parish. He needs all of the prayers and support he can get as he selflessly does everything he can to support the community and victims. Another friend of his sent out this request and was posted on the following link.

    http://wondrouspilgrim.blogspot.com/2012/12/prayers-for-st-rose-of-lima-parish.html

    Regardless of anyone’s stance on the Catholic Church I think they can appreciate the prayers and support that is needed for the victims and anyone trying to help them. Please take a moment to read the letter in the link and if you are the praying type send a prayer up for Fr. Suarez and everyone involved in the CT shooting. Thank you!
    Sorry if this is a repost.

  • eva johnson says:

    I was so happy to help, and my heart goes out to all the parents. Last night on the news they said some woman was collecting money on her paypal account for the children but it was not for the children. How can anyone that is a parent do such a horrible thing apparently they know who she is and it’s a scam. I’am so glad there are good honest caring people like Collin and her followers.

  • Houston says:

    I found this with my new I-Phone. I love it when individuals get together and share ideas, great website, keep it up.

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