We all had the same reaction when we first heard the news of the mass shootings at Sandy Hook School in Newtown: shock and disbelief.
And then, when the reality set in that 20 children and six adults had indeed been murdered at the school by a gunman, we all again had the same feeling — 'What can I do to help?'
Patch Ad Manager Lindsay Braun wanted to do more than watch what was happening. On Friday night, less than 12 hours after the shootings, she sent this email to her colleagues across eastern Connecticut:
"Fellow Patch Team members, As many of you are probably feeling tonight, this senseless tragedy has made us all feel helpless. I want to do something for these poor families. I will be collecting stuffed animals for the children of Newtown over the next week. ... I want these children to have something to comfort them, and something to hug in the coming weeks as this all unfolds."
And so was born Operation Snuggle Newtown.
Even though Newtown is miles from most of the Patch towns in what we call eastern Connecticut, we are all united in our feelings about what happened. Newtown is Stonington; Newtown is Avon; Newtown is Vernon; Newtown is Durham. It could be any of us going through what the residents of Newtown are going through, and through the power of Patch we want to show those folks — and especially those children — that they are not alone.
Below is a list of local businesses that have agreed to be drop-off locations for Operation Snuggle Newtown. This week, if you can, drop off a new teddy bear at any of these businesses. If you'd like, please leave a card with your name and feel free to share your thoughts of condolence. We want to show Newtown that they are not alone.
If you are a business and would like to be a drop-off point for Operation Snuggle Newtown, please leave your business name, street address and town in the comments and we will add you to the list.
Operation Snuggle Newtown Drop-Offs
- Anytime Fitness, 2020 Norwich New London Tpk, Uncasville
- Pennell's Auto Center, 341 Norwich New London Turnpike (Route 32), Uncasville
- New England Alliance Mortgage- 44 Pond Road, #100 Old Saybrook
- Saybrook Point Inn- 2 Bridge Road, Old Saybrook
- SWAG- 117 Main Street, Old Saybrook
- Apple Rehab- 1775 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook
- The French Hen- 16 Main Street, Essex
- 9 Round Fitness-280 Branford Road, North Branford
- ABC's Gymnastics Stars, 40 Industrial Park Road, Niantic
- Ardonn Boutique, 271 Main Street, Niantic
- Anytime Fitness, 17 Liberty Way, Niantic
- Barry's Cleaners, 79 Pennsylvania Avenue, Niantic
- Gumdrops & Lollipops, 334 Main Street, Niantic
- Main Street Grille, 252 Main Street, Niantic
- Miss Nikki's 5,6,7,8 Dance, Midway Plaza, 170 Flanders Road, Niantic
- CLT Photo, Midway Plaza, 170 Flanders Road, Niantic
- Barry's Cleaner's, 308 Flanders Road, East Lyme
- Best of Everything Country Gourmet, 214 Flanders Road, East Lyme
- Flanders Fish Market & Restaurant, 22 Chesterfield Road, East Lyme
- Angel Haven, Olde Mistick Village, 27 Coogan Blvd, Mystic (They will also donate 100 angel pins for the kids)
- Bank Square Books, 53 West Main Street, Mystic (They will donate books too and will be asking for books in addition to bears.)
- CMPS Marketing, 12 Roosevelt Avenue, Mystic
- Frogeez Frozen Yogurt - Crystal Mall Upper Level near Macys, Waterford
- Ivy's Simply Homemade, 316 Boston Post Road, Waterford
- Frogeez Frozen Yogurt, 985 East Poquonnock Road, (Big Y Plaza), Groton
- i5 Teaching Network, 18 Hurlbutt Road, (at the Gales Ferry Community Center, Rear), Gales Ferry
- Mel's Downtown Creamery, 37 West Broad Street, Pawcatuck
- Pinc! A Unique Boutique, 52 State Street, New London
- Barry's Cleaners, 565 Colman Street, New London
- Salon Pure, 11 Halls Road, Old Lyme
- All Pro Automotive, 147 Boston Post Rd. Old Lyme
- Mr. D's, 50 N Main St.,Wallingford
- Ryder's On Main, 467 W. Main St. Meriden