School collects teddy bears for victims of Sandy Hook shooting

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The images from Newtown Connecticut are still clear as day and the pain will not soon be forgotten. In Brusly Wednesday night, victims names were said aloud one by one.

Residents like James Haase and his little girl came together with others in the community to light candles, sing and say prayers.

"One of the little girls names is Olivia and that's her name and so at that moment I could really imagine how they feel and although I can only imagine it hurts really bad," said Haase.

"We got the word out through the churches and the Facebook and people just pulled together and were willing to show Sandy Hook the love that they have for them here," said vigil organizer Tanya Johnson.

The vigil in Brusly for the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting is just one of many local efforts to show support and no matter the venue or method, the intentions remain the same.

At Lewis Vincent Elementary in Denham Springs, a school-wide effort resulted in Ashley McClanahan's kindergarten class collecting 480 teddy bears to send to students at Sandy Hook in Connecticut.

The effort is part of a bear hug project that will send these bears and others from the Baton Rouge area to Newtown by early January.

"There are a lot of students up there hurting right now and afraid and we wanted to send them some teddy bears to give them a hug and let them know we are thinking about them and love them," said McClanahan.

A tragedy that few will ever understand followed by a tidal wave of support from so many that so far away.

"It's great the outpour that you see from everybody and in some part I hope it helps them to deal with it and to know that something good might come from this and people might get a little closer and realize they need to come together and help each other out more," said Haase

People who would like to donate teddy bears to be shipped to Newtown can drop them off at 12090 South Harrell's Ferry Road Ste. L in Baton Rouge.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.