What started as one family's creative form of therapy to cope with the tragedy at Sandy Hook School on Dec. 14 has quickly transformed into a successful fundraiser.
The "therapy," as 20-year-old Newtown resident Kelly Burton calls it, is, fittingly, green and white pins with tiny angels on them. Kelly said her mom, Shari, and her mother's friend, Krista Halstead, came up with the craft the day after the shooting.
Shari is an education assistant at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and, her daughter said, she was inside when Adam Lanza broke into the school and shot and killed 20 children and six teachers before killing himself.
As members of the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Co., Kelly and her father, Michael, responded to the scene as first responders. A 2010 Newtown High School graduate, Kelly is a junior at Eastern Kentucky University and is on home during semester break, she said.
Kelly said the craft was a way for her and her mom and other family and friends to stay busy and help in the days following the shooting. Originally, they made about 400 pins for Sandy Hook School teachers, families of the victims, and first responders.
But the demand was there, and an opportunity to help even more arose. "Everyone wanted them," Kelly said. "It took off from there."
So Kelly started the Facebook page, The Sandy Hook Angel Project, and is now taking orders through the site. To date, she said, they've made about 1,500 pins. Each sells for $3 and all proceeds go to the CT PTA Sandy Hook Fund.
Kelly and her cousin, Emily Reynolds of Woodbury, were at the Inn at Newtown on Thursday night, selling the pins during the business' fundraiser.