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From Rhode Island, A Heart-Shaped Gesture For Newtown

About 150 people come to EGHS to "send their well wishes of peace and love" to the people of Newtown, Connecticut.


East Greenwich, R.I. – It has been hard to know how to respond to the unspeakable loss suffered by Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14 beyond teddy bear drives and Facebook posts. But, motivated by her many personal connections to Newtown, East Greenwich resident Wendy Schmidle had a vision – to organize a giant photo op of the people of EG to send to the people of Newtown.  

She thought of it as a way for East Greenwich residents to be able to, in her words, "send their well wishes of peace and love to Newtown."

Schmidle contacted EG Patch because she knew there was a Patch site in Newtown where the photo could be shared. The plans came together quickly with the EG Fire District agreeing to help by sending photographer Jeff Stevens up in the bucket of a ladder truck.

More than 150 people, young and old, came out to East Greenwich High School for the photo Sunday, Dec. 23.

For Liam Shaunessey, 15, said the gathering represented peace and goodwill, "and hope that Newtown parents can find peace."

K December 25, 2012 at 11:40 AM
What a wonderful gesture.I am an elementary school teacher who travelled 2 1/2 hours to Newtown from Newport, RI after school on Friday. For some reason I felt drawn to do so. I brought my dog Trixie with me, hoping that perhaps she would bring comfort to someone. She is a very calm, loving, intelligent dog who could be very therapeutic for those directly affected by this tragedy. When I entered the First Methodist Church to say a prayer I was greeted by a wonderful volunteer at the church. Two women from New Jersey came in behind me. They were sisters who drove 2 1/2 hours to deliver a beautiful floral wreath made of white flowers with 26 birds on it that they made with a lot of love for the people of Newtown. Together the four of us prayed for all of those affected by this tragedy. Then we walked across the babbling brook that cuts through the town before continuing uphill to the memorials by the firehouse. I don't know why I was drawn to go to Newtown other than I wanted to comfort someone. I guess that's what the men from Massachusetts, the women from NJ, and I have in common. We are with you, Newtown. I would come back again TODAY on Christmas if anyone would like a hand to hold, an ear to listen, or to help in any way I can. My dog Trixie is a big love bunny who would love to help out too.. A rescue dog from TN who I am fostering, Trixie could certainly provide some comfort and joy. I am happy to help. Please don't hesitate to take me up on my offer.

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