McKinney Mommas: Remembering Sandy Hook Victim: Olivia Engel, 6 #26acts Google+

Monday, January 7, 2013

Remembering Sandy Hook Victim: Olivia Engel, 6 #26acts

Whenever I see posts about people doing random acts of kindness, I'm touched, inspired to do more myself.....and then often forget about it the next day.

I want this time to be different.

Photo by: Stuart Miles/

After the tragedy at Sandy Hook/Newtown, CT, Ann Curry of NBC News proposed #26acts (of kindness), to honor the lives lost on December 14, 2012.

What if everyone reading this post, committed to do 26 acts of kindness this year?

In the midst of such negativity in the world right now, that sounds like a whole lot of good to me! 

Are you in?

In conjunction with #26actsofkindness, a handful of the bloggers at #GlobalTeamof200 and Mom Bloggers for Social Good, decided to get together and each create a blog post about each of the 26 victims of Sandy Hook, to honor their lives and memory. 

I chose to honor, Olivia Engel

Maybe it's because her name is so similar to my youngest daughter's name.  Or maybe it's because of her beaming smile seen below.

Photo courtesy of:

Her favorite color was purple, just like the scarf she was wearing in this family photo session.  She loved to laugh the loudest at the jokes she'd tell herself, to parents Brian, Shannon and 3yr old brother, Brayden.  A lover of the water, she was a great swimmer and "first mate" on her daddy and grandpa's boats.  

Olivia liked to play with American Girl dolls, something my daughter has not yet discovered. I hope that if and when my little girl asks for her first American Girl doll, I will be reminded of Olivia's joyful life and be inspired to do good for someone that day - when it comes.

She was known to carry around a stuffed lamb (also my daughter's favorite security blankie), and excelled in math and reading. Never a moment to be still, Olivia participated in dance class, church group, tennis and soccer as well as Daisy Girl Scouts. She was a girl on the move, bringing joy and laughter to all who surrounded her.

This precious angel was practicing to be an angel in a Christmas Eve pageant at her church, before her life was cut short just days before the production. I'm sure her practice on earth, prepared her for a starring role in heaven. 

Photo courtsey of: FriendsOfTheEngelFamilyFund

There is nothing I can say to make things better, nothing I can do to begin to ease the overwhelming grief that her parents and brother must be feeling. 

I am brought to my own tears by just writing about Olivia's story today, but it's a grain of sand compared to the immense beach of feelings her family and friends will have to tread through over the next weeks, months, and for the rest of their lives.

The only thing I can do is attempt to give kindness in unexpected places when and where I can. Maybe I can touch a life that will somehow prevent a tragedy like this from taking place again. 

I pledge this year to participate in #26actsofkindness.

Starting this week.

#1. McKinney Mommas' first of #26acts was to donate a bunch of clothes, shoes, and household items to Captain Hope's Kids, a program that benefits homeless children in North Texas. 
Photo courtesy of: captainhopeskids
I included my toddler, asking if she wanted to "keep" or give "away" some of her belongings to children who didn't have enough clothes. By the end of the day, she was saying "away, away" to even some of her favorite toys and would help put them on the porch for pick-up. 

I know it's not a lot, but it's something that might help give a child warmth this winter and give them a taste of hope. 

It's easy to give back in honor of the lives lost at Sandy Hook. 

You can start by:

The possibilities are endless, and your chance to do good are also!

I encourage you today, good.

Please, come back and tell me all about it! 



  1. Love that I came across your blog. I am in McKinney as well. I am at "Pennies of Time" . . . Would love to hear from you! or on twitter @Pennies_of_Time

    Cheers! Sheila

  2. The sadness is overwhelming, but in doing something kind we can keep the victims' memories alive in a positive way. Thank you for your donation. It isn't a small thing at all. It means so much to those who have received.

  3. It's all the "small" things that add up to big change. I wept for the children as you did and hope that our efforts will encourage others to exhibit some extra kindness this day and everyday.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this. I shared it with my mom, too, and I can't imagine what the family is going through.


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