Kids Across the Country Send Love – and Teddy Bears – to Newtown

A memorial in Newtown, Connecticut, to the people who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14th

Ten-year-old Samantha Bucchino says she heard about the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, from her mom.

“I felt really bad,” Samantha told the Carlsbad Current-Argus, her local newspaper in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

New Mexico is a long way from Connecticut.

But Samantha decided she had to do something to help the kids who survived the shootings– and the families of the ones who did not.

“They might not have a very good Christmas (otherwise),” she told Current-Argus reporter Natalie Gross.

So Samantha decided to ask her classmates at Carlsbad’s Puckett Elementary School to donate teddy bears – new or used.

She also collected handmade Christmas cards – and donations to cover the cost of shipping all those bears and cards to Connecticut.

“I wanted them to … know that many people are caring for them,” she told the Current-Argus.

In Pennsylvania, 9-year-old Jenna Eldred had the same idea.

Why teddy bears?

“The teddy bears will make them happy,” she told the Citizens’ Voice, her hometown newspaper in Prompton, near Wilkes-Barre.  “Because (the bears are) really soft and cuddly.”

Jenna told the Citizens’ Voice she hopes to give a teddy bear to each of Sandy Hook Elementary School’s remaining students – approximately 600 in all.

That’ll take a lot of hard work on Jenna’s part.

But she’s determined.

“We don’t have the money to buy all of the bears,” she told Citizens’ Voice reporter Sarah Hofius.  “We need help.”

Jenna and her family hope to deliver the bears to Connecticut themselves in early February.

But the teddy bears collected at Alcoa Elementary School in Alcoa, Tennessee, might get to Newtown before the end of this year.

At least that’s the plan, according to a report by Knoxville, Tennessee, TV station WBIR.

The kids and teachers at Alcoa reportedly hoped to collect about 650 teddy bears for the kids in Newtown.

“They (will) have something to sleep with at night and keep warm and not be scared anymore,” Alcoa student Anastasia Lamar told WBIR reporter Stoney Sharp.

Alcoa teacher Christy Evans told Sharp she wished she could give all the kids in Newtown a hug.

“Teddy bears are the next best thing,” she said.