Residents donate teddy bears for survivors of Conn. shooting - FOX 35 News Orlando

Local residents donate teddy bears for survivors of Conn. shooting

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A community effort is under way in Georgia for survivors of the Sandy Hook school shootings. Two Connecticut natives who now live in Smyrna decided they had to do something.

Cindy Pitts said that as soon as she heard the news of Friday's shooting, she rushed to Nina Sonsini's store, Then Again Consignments.

"We just embraced and started crying. We're both from Connecticut and I was standing there and I'm thinking …what can I do? What would be great and, so I just thought ‘teddy bear,'" Pitts said.

The grassroots effort started Friday night with three donation sites -- one at Pitts' home, another at Sonsini's store and another in Carrollton. The goal was to get 450 teddy bears -- one for every child at Sandy Hook. They've already surpassed their goal.
"I want them to smile. I want them to smile again and know that people do care and love them," Pitts said.

Allyson Neal and her kids dropped off a garbage bag full of teddy bears on Wednesday.

"It's something they can hold on to and keep forever," said Myra Neal.

Pitts said that the goal is to get the bears into the hands of Sandy Hook students after the first of the year when they return to school, but she said that there may be a snag.

"Red Cross has a drop-off center but can't guarantee any type of delivery to the children, so they said perhaps we would have to wait five or six months before they were distributed," Pitts said.

One of Cindy's friends will be paying for the shipping to Connecticut. But the problem is that there's no one on the other end to pick them up and to distribute them.

Despite reaching their goal, they are still collecting bears and stuffed animals until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday.  

Bears and letters are being collected at the following locations until 5pm on Thursday:

Sterling Engineering and Fabrication (sponsoring shipping)
101 Performance Way
Carrollton, GA 30117

Then Again Consignments
3988 Atlanta Road
Smyrna, GA 30080

916 Sharon Circle
Smyrna GA 30082

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