Newtown Requests Halt to Gifts, Says They'll Become 'Sacred Soil'

Officials say it's better to distribute gifts locally, according to a report from the Associated Press.


Since the 12/14 Sandy Hook school shooting, gifts have poured into Newtown from all over the world. In Sandy Hook and on the steps of Edmond Town Hall, piles of candles, teddy bears, letters of well wishing and other memorials have sprouted up.

But now town officials are respectfully requesting a halt to the gifts.

First Selectman Pat Llodra, Police Chief Michael Kehoe and superintendent Janet Robinson are among those who asked for gifts to stop Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

Additionally, Llodra told residents in a townwide call Saturday that existing gifts -- including signs and teddy bears -- would be "gathered and processed" into soil to serve as the foundation for a future Sandy Hook memorial, according to the Newtown Bee:

"This will be sacred soil, holding all the sweet messages and symbols of love and hope, of kindness and sadness, visions for a better future, and promises to forever remember the ones lost in this sad attack."

The call added that Newtown's Public Works department will be in charge of the work.

Margo Deselin Woodall December 27, 2012 at 03:15 AM
To Pro-Life? Go Vegan!: The "donations" that will be collected and serve as "sacred soil" for the foundation of a permanent memorial are the ones that have been outside in the rain and snow at the memorials around town, not the donations and gifts for distribution or the extra things in warehouses. The people in my town are anything but selfish; their response to this overwhelming tragedy has been compassion, generosity, kindness, and, most of all, love.
Richard Hooker December 27, 2012 at 03:51 AM
wow...we lost how many children, and how many heros, and our whole town is torn apart, and now we are called selfish? I hope and pray you NEVER have to experience what we are going through.
Da Face! December 27, 2012 at 01:24 PM
It's delusional. Please reread the article....Margo has it right. Richard, please try to cope. The Healing Center on Simm La has therapists, massage therapists, and reiki specialists, including therapy dogs. It is staffed by some wonderful volunteers from many other towns! I tried to thank some of them, and was told in EVERY case that the pleasure was all theirs...(they were even open on Christmas Day!) I went there yesterday for the first time yesterday...peaceful, quiet, refreshments, and healing. Even the kids have a play area, and are quiet. Newtown, and Sandy Hook WILL go on...with our neighbors from other towns helping us, and we will NEVER forget.
Mom of two December 27, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Pro Life? I don't think you understand what we're talking about turning into "sacred soil". It's mostly things like flowers, stuffed animals, notes, candles, signs and homemade statues of some sort. All of which have been sitting out in the rain and snow for over a week now. Any of the toys and things that have not been put outside, but have been sent to a warehouse will be donated to other charities and communities in need.
S Smith December 27, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Thank you Margo for setting this straight.
Jacqueline F. Lyons December 27, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I'm going to give the began the benefit of the doubt. I don't think he understood the printed article. The idea of making the temporary and weathered gifts part of a permanent tribute is wonderful. As to the masses of families that suffer tragic loss from less 'visible ' crimes, we can pray that the unity growing from the world's response to Sandy Hook will make us all more sensitive to the pain and grief of people everywhere. This could be a starting point.
Marianne S. Grenier December 27, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Thank you Margot. What a very strange comment, Pro-Life.
Heidi Brisson December 27, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Pro Life / Go Vegan I believe you have your facts incorrect. Again, the only items being turned into soil are those that were in the memorials and is a way to always have those well wishes in our town and with us at the permanent memorial. As for being selfish and not caring about shootings in other towns is unfair for you to say. We can not even begin to explain the magnatude of lose and it is no more important than any other loss, it is just HUGE to lose 26 people the way we did. Finally, the other gifts will not sit in warehouses for months, years. People have been working tiredlessly to identify those in need and to get these items to them. Newtown selfish...I think not!
Mom of two December 27, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Not sure why this is so difficult for you to understand. It's been explained and if you're not happy with the answers then , oh well I guess.
Margo Deselin Woodall December 27, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Pro-Life, this is a tempest in a teapot. I can see how the article may be misleading, but I am one of many who received the message from the town and know exactly what was said. I have also been in meetings with the Red Cross and others who are helping the town process the many donations. Only the items that have been sitting outside will be used for the foundation for the permanent memorial. The other items that cannot be used will absolutely be donated to other communities and will certainly not be destroyed. And, lastly, of course people in Newtown care about tragedies in other communities. There is no need to argue back and forth as what the town is doing isn't at odds with your stance.
McBear December 27, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Wow. THAT was an overreaction. With a simple search for additional information, I found another article: http://www.suntimes.com/news/nation/17179526-418/newtown-in-mourning-inundated-with-gifts-money.html Look at that! They let the children choose whatever they wanted from the gifts, and even allowed kids in neighboring cities to come too. And then there's this: "The town of some 27,000 with a median household income of more than $111,000 plans to donate whatever is left over to shelters or other charities." So people are being encouraged to donate to others (such as low income families) in memory of the Sandy Hook victims. Newtown appreciates the generosity, but wants to make sure others in need are taken care of as well.
Da Face! December 28, 2012 at 02:53 AM
I suspect that the $111K figure might be for ALL of Newtown...but I also suspect that Sandy Hook's per capita is a bit less
Barbara Richardson December 28, 2012 at 06:43 AM
This article is misleading and incomplete, and should be corrected before it upsets more people. People should not have to read multiple comments to get the facts right. Patch needs some editorial standards.
Clare December 28, 2012 at 04:05 PM
You really need to get off your high horse and stop desperately finding ways to denigrate Newtown. You obviously have some other issues that you need to work out. Get help.
Daniel Patti December 28, 2012 at 05:07 PM
I can't believe the offensive and ignorant comments posted by "Pro Life". I'm sure you wouldn't write this stuff if you had to reveal your identity. This town has been overwhelmed by generosity and its going to take time to redistribute. Plus I know many people in this town like myself donated money, clothes, and other products to Hurricane Sandy victims and other tragedies around the world. And for that you come on this site and call us selfish ? God help you
Da Face! December 28, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Oh quit squabbling. We had a tragedy, we, and the rest of humanity responded, and we wound up with more than we can handle. Thank you to all who donated. The plan is to redistribute, as it should be. We did not solicit anything, and we are grateful. Human nature is to come to the aid of people who suffer tragic incidents....we are not as thoughtful for day to day instances. (You may consider a gift to any of the hundreds of charities out there though) This is not the fault of Newtown, but it is a nice thought to want to help others at all times. Lets try to remember that. Peace to all for the New Year...May the old one RIP.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »