The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School continue to elicit outpourings of emotions, and donations to Newtown. The town has established a special task force to coordinate the efforts and activities of more than 800 volunteers whose jobs include sorting donations, opening mail, and replying to the multitude of emails and phone calls offering assistance.
Chris Kelsey, Newtown tax assessor, has devoted his days since the shootings to set up a dedicated warehouse to store and classify all the teddy bears, toys, school supplies and gift donations that have poured into Newtown according to USA Today.
Despite earlier pleas from Newtown officials to please stop sending gifts, trucks full of donations arrive daily. According to Kelsey:
"A lot of the town's normal business is still on pause," he said. "I have a couple of people still doing assessor's business, and then if they can, open mail a couple hours too. We're all kind of doing what we can to get this done."
Some of the gifts arrive specifically addressed to those families who have lost children in the shootings, while others are just sent to the Newtown residents and children at large.
The toll-free number was established to assist local officials who were being flooded with phone calls and emails from people asking how they could help Newtown, according to the task force’s website.
Robin Fitzgerald who coordinates some of the work being done on behalf of some of the Newtown volunteers said "what we're telling people on the phone now is that if you are holding a fundraiser in your local community, we appreciate it, but direct those resources to your local community, that's what the families want.”
For additional information on the Newtown Volunteer Task Force, visit their website.
For more on activities in Newtown, see the video accompanying this article.
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