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PHOTOS: Gifts From Around the World Will Go to Staff, Families First

According to First Selectman Pat Llodra, a plan is in place to allow residents, including Sandy Hook parents and staff, to take home more than 125,000 products of support.

At least 125,000.

But almost certainly a lot more.

That's how many cards, letters, paintings, quilts, bicycles, backpacks and any number of other gifts have come to Newtown since the events of Dec. 14, according to First Selectman Pat Llodra.

"The range of items was really stunning, and indicated the generosity of the whole world," said Llodra.

Items have been stored in spaces around town, but showcased for the public in the main hallway at the Municipal Center. On Sunday, the town will begin the process of connecting victims of the tragedy with the many letters and tokens of support sent to them.

The three-week long process will open the riches to a wider range of recipients each Sunday.

  • Jan. 27: Parents of victims and Sandy Hook staff members will be allowed to choose items they would like to take home or include in a collection.
  • Feb. 3: All Sandy Hook parents, and all teachers from the Newtown School District, will be allowed to choose items.
  • Feb. 10: The remaining collection will be opened to all Newtown residents.
Jodi Markowsky January 24, 2013 at 06:41 PM
What are the times for each of the days that these items will be available to look through and take with us if we feel the need? When you say Sandy Hook parents, do you mean parents of kids that attend SHS or any Sandy Hook parent, just wanted to get clarification. Thanks so much for opening this up for us. Much appreciated!
Old Saybrook Mel January 24, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Seeing these symbols of love from around the nation and world brought back to my eyes the tears for these lost children and their parents, and all of Newtown. May the Prince of Peace bring comfort to you all.
Ainslee Tillbrook January 25, 2013 at 12:19 AM
Why aren't many of these beautiful items being framed? Possibly hung in a hall in the new school? Or one in every Newtown school? There are many beautifully crafted quilts and such that should be preserved in memoriam.
Old Saybrook Mel January 25, 2013 at 04:38 AM
Ainslee, I think you make a good point, that some of the amazing quilts and other items should find homes in the town buildings, churches, synagogue and others public places - at least for some period. I'm not sure that small children would benefit from the visual effect of these reminders every day as they pass in the halls. The fact is, Newtown will never fully recover from this massive assault, any more than New York will ever recover from 9-11. As someone who lived decades in NYC before moving to Connecticut, I could not bear to visit there for a year after the attack. Perhaps I'm more emotional than most, but I think Newtown will take some time and space until it can look at these items displayed publicly. But you're right on one point - the town should choose what to keep and what to distribute. It would be great if someone in the town would produce a web site where photographs of all the special pieces could be shown. I'd be pleased to come to Newtown with proper equipment and spend a weekend shooting and editing for the project. It would also be a chance for Newtown to thank the world for its support.
Beth Kershaw January 25, 2013 at 06:33 AM
Thank you for sharing some of these beautiful items that people lovingly made for you. I'm a former resident (graduated from Newtown HS) but have lived in San Francisco for many years. I was back at Christmas and saw the memorials and felt the love and sorrow in the community. I think Sandy Hook and Newtown should do whatever is right for them especially the parents, relatives of those who were taken and the staff at SHES. There are so many beautiful pieces of art that it might be beneficial to hold onto to them for awhile. There will probably be a memorial and you may decide to include them . Whatever is decided will be the right choice. My thoughts and prayers are with you every day.
Bob Attanasio January 25, 2013 at 05:41 PM
I encourage all to visit the municipal center... the photos are great, but cannot possibly capture the magnitude of the worldwide support. Give yourself some time... the more you read, the more you will want to read...
Michael Cragin January 25, 2013 at 08:02 PM
........The horror of Columbine was said to have had 1.5 million donated......The V tech shootings were said to have had 7.5 million collected .....and when ...if...they successfully tally up the generosity for Sandy hook...it could amass 13 million...So much........So fast....that we hand it out.....Why has MONEY become the definition of HOW concerned people are over something......It will prob cost newtown 15% of that 13 million just to have united way involved....etc....I will be curious how it all goes down..........Handing out 125,000 THINGS.to people with a sandy hook address and mailing teddy bears all over ......just doesnt sit well
Christine C January 26, 2013 at 12:59 PM
I read up a lot on donations Michael, and United Way is taking no cut whatsoever. 100% of the proceeds donated to Sandy Hook School Support Fund is going to the fund, even credit card companies and PayPal have waived their fees. From what I understand, a committee will be formed to best decide how to use these funds will be used (i.e. to built a new school, renovate an old one, a memorial, etc). There was no 15% fee.
Paula Antolini January 26, 2013 at 04:00 PM
These items should (and must!) be documented in photographs (of each item) before anything is given away. I like the website idea too, so this way every beautiful loving sentiment can be shared with the world. Or... perhaps the families of the victims should decide which items could be included in a permanent memorial display, (since there are too many to put on display) location yet to be chosen. Although, if everything is photographed, the rest could be in a digital slide show on a flat screen tv (or similar display screen) at the same memorial display, so everything is included. Take advantage of the present technology that can "save" these delicate items forever. The sentiments were the beauty and love that came out of all of this sadness, and they deserve to be preserved.
Paula Antolini January 26, 2013 at 04:12 PM
I also volunteer to do the photography and work on the slide show project. I think there are many other local photographers who would be willing to work together to get this project done too (due the the vast amount of materials to be photographed). First Selectman Llodra, can we form some sort of photography committee/group to record all these items? I am sure if each photographer handles a section we can get this done. Please contact me, I am willing to organize the group and get this project done.
Old Saybrook Mel January 26, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Christine C - thanks for your research.
Old Saybrook Mel January 26, 2013 at 04:43 PM
No matter what the final disposition of the artwork contributions, before any action, they should be carefully photographed and catalogued. My offer to come to Newtown and do so, without charge, still stands to the community - I can be contacted at ct_digital_photog@yahoo.com.
Paula Antolini January 26, 2013 at 07:37 PM
@Old Saybrook Mel I stand by my offer to do the photography too....so it looks like so far we have a team of two :-). I feel very strongly that these items need to be recorded/photographed. I hope we can make this happen. Feel free to contact me. See my profile for info.
Sam Mihailoff January 27, 2013 at 09:22 PM
HISTORICAL PRESERVATION SILLY??? If not for that thought, the boyzzz would have rolled up the Declaration of Independence and used it to light up their cigars as King George left our shores
hbhr January 28, 2013 at 03:00 PM
I second (or third) the very strong feelings of Paula and Old Saybrook Mel that a very good quality photographic record should be taken prior to item distribution. There are some absolutely beautiful pieces of artistry that were lovingly crafted and it is healing not only to the Sandy Hook and greater Newtown community, but to people everywhere to be able to see them, ponder them, and be touched by the outpouring shown around world in the aftermath of an event that profoundly affected parents, children, teachers, and others on a global scale. I can envision a beautiful book made of these that would be made in rememberance of the precious lives lost on 12/14, proceeds to go to a Sandy Hook charity or fund, such as Sandy Hook Promise, or the like. I beg the town to please accept one of these generous offers put forth in this blog to allow time for a thorough photographic recording of these items! - Heidi, a resident of Orange, CT
Sara Washicko February 01, 2013 at 03:10 AM
What time on Sunday?
Lynn Edwards February 01, 2013 at 03:19 PM
I think they mean current Sandy Hook School parents. hours are 10-4 even Sunday, and if you want something you write your name on sticker and put it on the item (you don't take it yet)
Lynn Edwards February 01, 2013 at 09:18 PM
ok so I was just at SHS this afternoon and front office there was told Sunday 2/3 hours were 10-2, not 10-4 as I was told when I called Llodra's office earlier toay...
Paula Antolini February 01, 2013 at 11:49 PM
@hbhr Thank you so much Heidi. I was able to make contact and I did some photography of the memorials, so this is in progress. I can see that it will be impossible to photograph everything before it is offered to the town's people, due to the sheer volume (there must be thousands of cards alone) but I will do whatever I can. However, it is quite incredible to see the numerous items representing the outpouring of love and well wishes and prayers people sent, from all over the world. I will continue to do this project and let readers know updates.
Tim February 06, 2013 at 05:39 AM
i made memorial pictures of each child and of each teachers for the PARENTS. of the children, and for the IMMEDIATE FAMILY of the teachers. They arrived january 9th. red white n blue USPS box. each 8x10 picture is in a picture envelope and addressed to the PARENT/S and each child victim of sandy hook school. I hope they enjoy the memorial pictures i made for them, and i hope, when they THE PARENTS receive them, they can send me a msg just letting me know they did in fact receive their picture :) i am on facebook , and my email is eucredawwg@yahoo.com
Nora E. Trabilsy February 08, 2013 at 01:24 AM
I sent a rosary to each victim's family. They were individually packaged with names on them. Is there anyway to find out if those will actually go to the families? Nora T. Clinton Twp., MI

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