Newtown, CT: The new Sandy Hook Elementary School opens 8/29/2016. A message from Nicole Hockley (Dylan’s mom).

My beautiful butterfly Dylan should be starting intermediate school tomorrow – looking forward to meeting his new teachers, learning about the solar system, asking me to put chocolate in his lunch.

At least that’s how I imagine Dylan starting fifth grade. I’ll never know. Instead, he’s frozen forever in the first grade. I’m a mom who’s been robbed of the joy of watching my son grow up. But it didn’t have to be this way, and it doesn’t have to for any parent – because every gun-related death is preventable.

That’s why, as awkward as it feels to ask for money, I have to do it. Because millions of children are heading back to school, and with tomorrow’s match deadline fast approaching, we’re still $64,936 away from doubling every donation. Can I count on you to help us get there? Remember, if you give now it will go TWICE as far to help spare more families the unceasing agony of losing a child.

Before that terrible day at Sandy Hook Elementary, I had two boys: Dylan and his big brother Jake. Today I still have two boys, but one is no longer here. I’m a mom shopping for back-to-school supplies – freshly sharpened colored pencils and shiny new notebooks – for one. And I’m a mom with a responsibility to Dylan to honor his death and prevent gun violence from shattering other families. To protect my surviving son Jake and his future.

That’s why we’re launching major partnerships with public schools in Miami-Dade County and key cities around the country to train students and educators – at no cost to the schools – how to prevent gun violence. We’re ramping up efforts to advocate for mental health and gun safety reforms at the state and federal levels.

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