A Watertown teacher and her sister, a Gloucester teacher, are coordinating with the local Newtown, Conn. newspaper, The Newtown Bee, to collect 700 new and gently used teddy bears and distribute them to elementary students in Sandy Hook.
The sisters aim to collect 700 or more stuffed animals by Thursday night. They will then drive down to Newtown in a van donated by a Gloucester business and hand over the collection to The Newtown Bee, a local paper thrust into the spotlight over the weekend when a gunman shot and killed 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday.
The Newtown Bee will then distribute the teddy bears to Sandy Hook Elementary students, passing any extras out to the siblings of those affected by the shooting.
"Being teachers, this really hits home for us," said Elizabeth Donnellan, who teaches in Watertown. "I know that the 13-year-old students I teach would feel helpless in that situation, so I can only imagine what the elementary school students felt. A lot of kids will have a lot of nightmares for a long time."
So far, Elizabeth and her sister, Emily, have collected about 100 stuffed animals.
"Our Facebook page really blew up," she said. "People that we've never met are setting up dropoff sites."
On the cause's Facebook page, there are eight different places to drop the teddy bears off in Massachusetts:
- 18E Austin Court, Saugus (drop box)
- 145 Harris St, Revere (drop box)
- 37 Lakeview Ave, Natick (drop box)
- Cervizzi's Martial Arts Academy, Lynnfield branch - 5 Post Office Square (between 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.)
- Cervizzi's Martial Arts Academy, Winthrop branch - 63 oodside Ave (between 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.)
- Cervizzi's Martial Arts Academy, North Reading branch - 6 Washington Street (between 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.)
- Cervizzi's Martial Arts Academy, North Andover branch - 1060 Osgood Street (between 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.)
- The Dance Haven Center for Dance Education - 379 Salem Street, Medford (between 3:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.)
For more information, visit the Teddy Bears for Newtown Facebook page.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org