NEWTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) – It has been 10 years since 20 first graders and six educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

“I will never stop missing my little Daniel and the incredible sweetness that was his life,” said Mark Barden. “The way he looked out for others, the compassion he showed for his family and his peers.”

“She believed that whatever she put her mind to, whatever she could envision, could come true,” said Jenny Hubbard.

“He noticed the sunrise on the last morning of his life,” Barden said. “He said, ‘it’s going to be a beautiful day, Dad,’ and ‘look at the beautiful sunrise and how our Christmas lights are reflecting in the window.’ I took a picture of the sunrise that morning, thinking what a beautiful thing for a 7-year-old to notice that kind of thing and appreciate that kind of thing. Shortly thereafter, I took him to the bus.”

“My six-year-old son, Jesse, was murdered in his first-grade classroom,” Scarlett Lewis said. “He left a message on our kitchen chalkboard: ‘Nurturing, Healing, Love.’ I knew instantly that if the shooter, who was a recent graduate of the Newtown school system, if he had been able to give and receive nurturing, healing, love, the tragedy would have never happened.”

These are the moments and memories forever etched into the minds and hearts of Mark Barden, Jenny Hubbard, and Scarlett Lewis. They lost their children, Daniel, Catherine and Jesse, at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.

“We can’t allow innocent lives to be violently taken through these acts of preventable gun violence,” Barden said. “This is preventable. We know this.”

While grappling with their grief and confronting their new reality, a life without their loved ones, they worked to turn their pain into purpose.

“She loved animals,” Hubbard said. “There was no other way to put it. We had a rule in the house that at the end of the day, you had to release whatever creature you were sort of ‘palling around with’ at the end of the day. She’d send them off with a little whisper, and I asked her one time what she was talking to them about. She said she was asking them to tell their friends that she was kind. She believed that if they knew she was kind, they would bring their friends back to her.”

To honor her daughter, Hubbard created the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. Sprawling acreage, nestled in Newtown, has become a space for people and animals to enjoy.

“There’s so much work that’s left to be done at the sanctuary, but the fact that it’s already this place of peace and healing, it means we’re moving in the right direction,” Hubbard said.

For Lewis, she uses her son’s words, making it the core of their mission at the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement.

“We know that people have to learn to hate, but they can also be taught to love,” Lewis said. “I started a program that literally teaches kids how to thoughtfully respond with love.”

Their programming has reached millions of children in more than 10,000 schools in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Lewis has taken a bus on the road, hoping to spread its message to the masses.

“We have to do everything that we can do to keep our children safe and provide them with the essential life skills to give them the skills they need to be able to thrive in life,” Lewis said.

Following the tragedy, Barden knew he needed to do something. About a month after the massacre, Sandy Hook Promise was formed.

“How can we address this problem in a meaningful way that hasn’t been addressed before and not duplicate the work of other organizations that are working on this,” Barden said. “We came up with the true essence of prevention.”

Their “Know the Signs” programs teach youth and adults how to prevent school violence, shootings, and other acts by showing them how to identify at-risk behaviors and intervene to get help.

“We have trained over 18 million students and adults in all 50 states,” Barden said. “We have made countless interventions. At least 11 school shootings have been averted that we can speak to.”

As Barden watched mass shootings unfold in communities across the country, he says it underscores their work’s importance.

“While we are averting these bad things from happening, we’re also building a culture of upstanders who understand the importance of looking out for one another,” Barden said. “We’re building a more compassionate, connected culture in the schools and the communities we serve.”

By providing a space for healing and peace, empowering everyone to “Choose Love,” and encouraging them to speak up when they feel something isn’t right, these parents are working towards a better world, keeping their children at the forefront of all that they do.

These are just some of the organizations families have created in the wake of Sandy Hook. For the complete list, click here.