by Mark Barden (Daniel’s father)
Every morning before school, my sweet little Daniel used to wait for the school bus to come by – crouched down and ready to race alongside it to the bus stop down the street. Daniel would sprint through the grass, then hop on board with his green backpack and greet his wonderful bus driver, Mr. Wheeler. I treasure the photos I took of these moments, but they can also be so difficult for me to look at.
They’re difficult reminders that I’m always getting further away from my life with Daniel. Today is 1,593 days. Daniel’s bus keeps driving by. But he isn’t here to chase it anymore, and I can’t overcome my feeling of dread that someday I won’t be able to remember these precious details of his life.
The only way I can bring myself to wake up and get through another day further from my last one with Daniel is by making sure that each day also honors him. I’m doing everything I can to prevent gun violence, but I need your help right now to protect more children. We’re $156,380 short of securing every single dollar of a generous match, so please rush as much as you can before Friday to double your impact:
For many people, the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary might seem like ancient history. But for me, that tragedy is at the center of life, every minute of every day. My sweet little Daniel’s absence in every single moment is profound. I write down memories of him because I’m scared to lose more of Daniel, to forget even the smallest moments. I keep little secrets stashed around the house that remind me of him: In the garage is the yellow football helmet he used to wear when he’d ride on the back of my bicycle. It still has some of his little blonde hairs in it. I’ll keep it forever.
I don’t want any other parent to feel the excruciating pain of losing a child to gun violence – to worry about old memories disappearing, to know they’ll never be able to create new ones.
I’m so proud that Sandy Hook Promise has helped pass critical gun safety and mental health reforms and trained nearly 2 million students and adults to prevent gun violence. But we want to expand our no-cost Know the Signs programs to even more of the largest school districts in the country to protect more children. That’s why I need your help securing every dollar of this generous match by donating whatever you can now:
I know it will never get easier to move another day further from my life with Daniel. But I also know that together, we can build a safer future for all children – so thank you for your support.
Mark Barden (Daniel’s father)