First, the Christina Taylor-Green memorial foundation: Christina-TaylorGreen.org. She is the little girl killed in the shooting that also injured Gabrielle Giffords, the one whose uncle took her to meet her representative because she'd been elected class president and was so interested in public service and politics, at the age of 9.
She is the one I've chosen to remember whenever the media makes a frenzy about any shooter. The reason I've chosen only her, and not a new person for every tragedy, is that it's a lot of work to remember a victim's name. It's no effort to remember a shooter's name... it'll be spoken over and over and over again. But these men don't deserve to be famous. So whenever I think I'm about to hear one of those names on the radio, I switch the station and think about Christina, who I didn't even know and probably never would have met, but I wish the world hadn't lost her.
I picked her as my one random person to represent, for me, all the potential we lose to random violence. And I will remember her year after year after year, tragedy after tragedy, because she sticks in my head.
Second, Safe and Sound - Securing our Schools - a foundation started by the parents of Newtown victims to set up guidelines and spread advice about school security.
I realize this is a bad time for jokes but my sister once requested something of us: "If I'm ever tragically killed, please make sure whatever memorial project you set up for me is research based." And how! I've got the same wish.
The parents of Sandy Hook have done a wonderful job with an initiative focusing on something they can do, rather than jumping into the hot-fire debates around gun control and mental illnesses. They are trying to use the story and their experiences to spread awareness about something easy that everyone can do to make a difference in schools and maybe save somebody else's kids. The website has a toolkit of questions that everyone should be asking about school security... about entrypoints, evacuation procedures, parent & authority notification. The board is lead by grieving parents willing to work for change but also involves a team of licensed psychologists, security consultants, fire chiefs, and academics who've spent their lives trying to keep people safe.
This is the sort of thing the media should be telling us about instead of turning murderers into celebrities, but I can't count on them, so at least I blogged about it.