Helping Heal Grief in Newtown With the Power of Pie

by Kee Kee on December 16, 2012

in American Gothic House,Inspiration,Iowa

In the wake of this week’s senseless tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting that left 26 dead in Newtown, Connecticut, I’m compelled to write about a tiny movement that has started with my friend Beth Howard. Beth is the author of Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie.  She lives in the iconic American Gothic House.  I visited her during my seeking shama road trip, and during my 10 day stay, directly experienced her sage advice that pie heals, pie is comfort food, pie makes people happy.  When Beth’s husband unexpectedly passed away a couple years ago, Beth’s grief was deep and her searing pain palpable.  Yet she still had something left to give.  She baked pie.  She gave away pie.  She learned that, in the face of unspeakable grief, pie really can heal.

So when Beth heard about the shooting, she realized she had to do something.  She had to do her part to help ease people’s pain.  She decided to put into practice what she preaches and bring pie to the people of Newtown with the hope that her pies will provide comfort to the community.  She put out a call on her Facebook page and 24 hours later she had received $2,000 in donations and a driving partner.  She started driving her RV to Connecticut yesterday.  Already she’s received baking donations from Costco and 30 volunteers have signed up to help bake and then distribute the pies this week.  At this moment she’s driving through Pennsylvania and will start baking pies in New Jersey this evening.

You can help.  Go to Beth’s website,, and click on the PayPal link to donate in support of her efforts.  Any donations she receives beyond the cost of her pie supplies will be donated to aid Newtown grief counseling.  If you can volunteer to help bake or hand out slices of pie, e-mail Beth through her website.  You may not be able to drive 1,000 miles like Beth is, but your donations and your prayers can help in equally important ways.  Perhaps we can all help Beth spread a bit of sunshine this week amidst the clouds of despair in Newtown.

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