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Touching Stories from Sandy Hook

K-9 Parish Comfort Dogs / Facebook

We’re all still struggling in the aftermath of Sandy Hook school shooting, and wondering if life will ever feel safe again. But some sweet stories are emerging that remind us that there is still good in this world. Here, we round up some of cracks of light that are peeking through the darkness.

Firemen Pay Respects at Funeral: 7-year-old Daniel Barden wanted to be a firefighter when he grew up, just like his father's cousins, who are FDNY. When word of this got out, dozens (some reports say 500) uniformed firefighters showed up at his funeral, lining the path of the casket.

New York Giants Player Honors Victim: Victor Cruz was 6-year-old victim Jack Pinto’s favorite NFL player. When Cruz heard this, he called the family to offer his condolences, and then honored Jack by writing “R.I.P. Jack Pinto” and “Jack Pinto, My Hero” on his cleats for Sunday’s football game.

JetBlue Delivers Cousin’s Goodbye Letter: Victim Noah Pozner’s mom wanted him to be buried with notes from his loved ones. However, Noah’s cousin lives all the way across the country, too far to reliably overnight his heartbreakingly sweet card in time for the funeral. Noah’s aunt--@VDog on Twitter—put out a call for help. The social media folks at JetBlue saw her plea, and worked out the logistics to have the note flown to JFK, where it traveled on to Connecticut.

Obama Leaves a Message for School StaffAt Newtown High School, which was being used as a staging area for President Obama’s memorial service address, two staffers left him a note on a white board, thanking him for coming. When they later returned to the room, they found a personal reply from the prez, telling them they were in his thoughts and prayers.

Comfort Dogs Arrive in Newtown: Anyone who owns a dog knows the warm fuzzies that come from their loyalty and unconditional love. That’s why Lutheran Church Charities of Illinois sent 10 golden retrievers to provide a small measure of cuddly comfort to the Sandy Hook victims. The organization started its comfort dog initiative in response to another school shooting that occurred at Northern Illinois University in 2008.

Acts of Kindness Go Viral: To honor the victims, journalist Ann Curry challenged Twitter followers to commit 20 kind things for other people. It went viral (hashtags #20acts and #26acts), with people posting how they helped made a meal for neighbor or anonymously left money for a down-on-his-luck friend.

Obama Holds Granddaughter of Slain Principal: Amidst overwhelming grief, one very cool photo op: slain principal Dawn Hochsprung’s daughter sharing a snap of President Obama holding the principal's granddaughter on Twitter, noting that her mom would be proud, but not as proud as she is of her.