UNH Students Rally’s Together to Support the Newtown Community After Sandy Hook Shootings
The UNH community pulls together in the face of tragedy. Three days after one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history took place in Newtown, Conn., 30 students from the University’s lacrosse and ice hockey club teams travelled to the heartbroken town to lift the youth’s spirits.
In Patrick Danielle's (UNH Men's Lacrosse team) words:
Although I wasn’t born or raised in Connecticut I have come to see New Haven as a second home. When word of the Newtown shooting came to me it was a complete shock. The current Lacrosse Coach and Alumni Robert Holub was the first to let the team know about the Newtown Youth Academy open play day. Coach Holub said that they were in need of volunteers, and our team was more than willing to go help out. Within a few minutes of hearing about the program myself and around 15 teammates had a plan to get together and head down there the next morning. No more than an hour later I got word of the Men’s Hockey team wanting to join. Another 15 players from the hockey team joined us in our morning car-pool.
That morning not knowing what to expect, we headed to Newtown Youth academy at around 8 am. Shortly after getting there our players were spread throughout the facility talking with children of all ages as well as speaking with families who were affected by the shooting. Although we saw it just as a way for us to help out and play with some of the youngsters of Newtown it was much more than that.
More than one parent walked up to us held us tight and told us that it meant the world that we were there keeping the students minds off of what had happen. Whether it was handball, soccer, or basketball all of our players were just there to just keep the kids occupied and give them something to smile about. It was one of the most humbling experiences I have been a part of and it helped the Lacrosse and Hockey players grow as a team and as people.
Since, feeling so good about assisting the Youth Academy many players continue to go and volunteer. President Kaplan got wind of what the teams had done and sent out a school wide email thanking us and hoping that other students would join, which was exactly what happened. This just shows that sometimes a small group of people can make a huge difference.
I am proud to say that I am part of such a great group of people, and I hope that we can do more things like this in the future.
Original submission courteous of UNH Today on January 8, 2013http://www.newhaven.edu/news-events/news-releases/488205/
Photos & story resubmitted by Patrick Danielle, Civil Engineering Major on January 18, 2013
To read more on their contributions visit the American Collegiate Hockey Association website.