Cards for kids: Local campaign offering support for families across the country

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Every year, for the last few years, cards from across the world get shipped to Central New York. Then, they’re delivered to children who lost a loved one in a mass shooting.

“If a simple card brings them a little bit of joy after they’ve lost so much, it’s the absolute least I can do,” said Jaclyn Schildkraut, the organizer for Cards for Kids.

Schildkraut started the campaign four years ago after the Las Vegas shooting. Now, thousands of cards go out to children in 16 different communities, bringing messages of support. Sometimes, she hears back from families.

“He had actually put up a post with our box of cards that they didn’t forget. And I think that that’s really the most important takeaway is, you know, we’re so fortunate that our lives get to go on, largely as normal of course you know barring a pandemic. But, once an individual loses a loved one in a mass shooting, they’re now dealing with a completely new normal,” Schildkraut said.

Even now, during the pandemic, mass shootings are still happening. Though it’s not happening as much and they are statistically rare, Schildkraut says the time to talk about it is now.

“What’s particularly noteworthy is, it’s likely that this is a function of, we’re not all out in public. and so what’s happening is it’s not that homicide is necessarily going down, or that mass murder is going down, it’s that it’s relocating,” Schildkraut said.

And those who have been through it, Schildkraut says, need the extra support this year.

“There’s really no wrong message that you can give, you know the most important thing is the thought and the time that it takes to write the card,” Schildkraut said.

Schildkraut is taking precautions to protect against COVID-19 this year. She asks that people do not lick the envelopes. She’s also quarantining the letters before they get shipped out.

You have until December 9th to participate. The letters can be store-bought or personalized. You can contact Schildkraut at jaclyn.schildkraut@oswego.edu.

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