Last week, the unimaginable became a terrifying reality as events unfolded in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting which claimed the lives of 20 children and eight adults, including the shooter.
Though residents of Warren County were miles away, safe from the gunfire, the sorrow and mental anguish that quickly spread across the country hit home for so many here.
Zoey Foote, 18, of Warren and her mother, Robin Wazelle, have decided to take action rather than sit around and discuss the details of the horrifying school shooting. 'The second I saw it, I wanted to do something," said Foote. "I have a five-year-old goddaughter... I was heartbroken."
Times Observer photo by Brian Collins
That’s the name to make checks out to if you’re interested in donating to Zoey Foote’s holiday project. Foote and many others are working to gather enough teddy bears to send to the survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Pictured here are: (back, left to right) Foote, John Agricola, Robin Wazelle, and Nicole Egger. (front, left to right) Caissey Bennett, Caidence Anderson, and Chase Ashker.
In an effort to bring a little bit of hope and peace back to the small community in Connecticut, Foote is organizing a drive to collect teddy bears for all of the children at Sandy Hook Elementary. "When I was little," explained Foote, "my mother gave me a teddy bear."
That bear, when squeezed, would emit a sound that they translated as 'let God arise.'
"I want these children to know that God is with them and to have something they can hug and hold on to," she said.
The elementary school has 525 pupils from kindergarten to fourth grade and Foote hopes to be able to collect enough teddy bears for all of those children. "We are going to rent a truck and take the bears to Connecticut ourselves," she added. "We want them to be ready to go by the new year and will be heading out after the pastor blesses them on Sunday."
Those wishing to donate can purchase their own teddy bears and/or drop-off money at any of the following locations: Praise Fellowship Church in Russell or at 732 River Road (corner of River Road and Cindy Lane). Those who wish to drop off donations to the residence on River Road should call 406-4741 first. Checks can be made out to Teddy Hugs.