MISS was there

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In the days following the Jan. 8 shooting  in Tucson, the MISS Foundation mobilized a team of volunteers to provide support for the local community.

The Phoenix-based organization, created by Joanne Cacciatore, Ph.D., was the subject of our January article by Mary Ann Bashaw and the first in a series of stories we have committed to publish this year on “Finding Purpose in Grief.” The foundation’s mission is to provide immediate and ongoing support to grieving families. And on the day that Tucson memorialized young Christina Taylor Green, the whole community felt like her family.

Kathy Sandler, the organization’s executive director, sent me some of the photos taken that day and a copy of the email she sent around to volunteers and members. In her words:

The Tucson/Phoenix Outreach team met at a local coffee shop prior to boarding the shuttle bus to the drop off point. We had a natural chemistry. In our 90 minutes together, we discussed the possible crisis intervention or emotional first aid that we would be providing to a community in shock, disbelief and sadness. We were busy assembling Kindness Cards in Christina’s honor and attaching them to the In Mourning Bands…. We were eager to chaperone the bereaved, to be present. I don’t think the day turned out how we anticipated, though, as we didn’t minister to but a few. However…

WE were there…
On the road that would carry Christina-Taylor Green’s hearse
WE were there…
To see the wall of human angels adorned in white sheets
Protecting the sacred path to the mourning place
WE were there…
Reporters, note pads, cameras, media trucks, satellite dishes
WE were there….
“Stop the Hate” the graffiti begged
WE were there…
9/11 Memorial Flag strewn high above
WE were there…
Watched the solemn procession
Strangers, neighbors, friends and family
WE were there….
The walk of a mother with a broken heart
WE were there…
The strong arms of a father, embracing his shattered family
WE were there…
To witness a brother, a pallbearer
WE were there…
To be reminded of the familiar pain as if it were yesterday
WE were there…
The day you said goodbye to your child
WE were there…
And then we went 10 days later to A Day of Healing for Tucson’s Children
WE were there
The littles were sad, scared and yet filled with hope
WE were there
Moms desperate to help their kids cope
WE were there
WE were there
University Medical Center and the sea of love
WE were there
Please know that ALL of YOUR children were with US when
WE were there

Kathy Sandler, on behalf of the MISS Outreach Team

Tucson Chapter Outreach Team members: Audra White, Bunnie Firestone, Tracy McAdams, and Mary Avenetti.

Phoenix Chapter Outreach Team members: Michele Newton, Robin Kennedy, Judy Haines, Melissa Flint, Kathy McNichol, Lauren Wyatt, Bianca Mera, Kristen Fournier, Emily Sandler and Kathy Sandler.


One response to “MISS was there

  1. Karen: Thank you for creating a magazine that shares so beautifully Arizona stories that truly matter. In a day and age when print journalism faces so many challenges, I’m proud to be part of such a remarkable group of magazine professionals who create so well with so few resources, and do it all with integrity and enthusiasm. I’m also grateful for every reader, advertiser and subscriber who makes our ongoing work together possible. But most of all, I’m honored and humbled by the Arizona families who let us share their stories. –Lynn (RAK “Stage Mom” blogger)

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