Guest post by Beverly K.
My name is Beverly K. and I live in a small town in Upstate New York – 1 hr. from
Montreal, Canada and 2 hrs. from Vermont. I have worked for over 17 yrs. with the
Office of Mental Health at a maximum-security prison in New York. I have family in
Las Vegas and I would visit at least once a year. On October 1, 2017, I attended the
I am a survivor of the largest mass shooting in US history. As automatic gunfire rained down upon the crowd, I became one of those who prayed to just make it out alive. I huddled on the ground with 22,000 people. I watched as those within feet of me were hit with bullets and did my best to find an escape route to safety. 58 innocent lives were taken that horrific night. There were over 840 shot and injured. I am one of the 20,000 being treated for severe PTSD. I survived and there are many days I have asked myself WHY.
Through this tragedy and in my journey of trying to heal over the past 2 years I have found a new purpose. One of our online support groups was promoting doing Random Acts of Kindness to honor the 58 lives that were lost. It was a way for us to heal and give back.
We also encouraged others to do the same – to spread kindness. I got involved with a fundraising campaign for the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital. I created a team to raise money for the hospital and donated in honor of Sandy Casey. Sandy was a 35 year-old Special Education Teacher from Vermont who died that horrible night. Her passion was children with special needs. She died in her fiancé’s arms – they never had the chance to have children of their own. I knew that any money I raised would be donated to honor her memory and give back to sick children and their families.
I continue to raise money each year for this hospital, however this year I wanted to add something different to my Random Acts of Kindness. When I first saw the Comfort Cub, I knew that this was something that would help so many suffering from trauma and/or loss. I decided to start a fundraising effort for the Comfort Cubs. I knew that if I raised at least $1,000 I could then distribute the cubs to those who truly could benefit from them.
I am also doing this to honor Sandy Casey. I know she is looking down on us and would
absolutely love the Comfort Cubs and all that they stand for. I believe that if we each do a small part to make the lives of someone else a little brighter that the world will be a better place.