BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) – Children in the Twin Cities are trying to lift the spirits of the survivors at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
In Bloomington on Saturday, children put markers and paint to paper hoping to encourage some smiles for their grieving peers miles away in Connecticut.
“I think they need a little cheering up,” said Eliza Lorensen, one of about a dozen kids who showed up early to Smiles for Sandy Hook at the Bloomington Theatre and Arts Center.
They may have been little note cards, but passed along were powerful yet simple messages for the students affected by the mass shooting in Newton, Conn.
The cards read; “Have peace” and “Be happy.”
The little ones were invited by the Children’s Book Illustrators Guild of Minnesota.
“The first thought I had was, ‘What are the halls of that school going to feel like after these kids come back?’” said guild member Scott Spinks. “Are they going to be these dark gray walls, or are we going to brighten them up with artwork?”
Many of the girls coloring the messages on Saturday morning share a special connection with several shooting victims – they are Girl Scouts. Eight of the 12 girls who died in Newtown on Dec. 14 were too.
“I think they are very sad and depressed about their school and what happened there,” said Girls Scout Emily Hey.
One mother at Saturday’s event described the connection between all Girl Scouts.
“Part of being a Girl Scout is being a sister to every Girl Scout,” said Anne Marie Deboard. “That’s one of the last lines in the Girl Scout law. And so that’s what really got us out here today.”
Everyone at Smiles for Sandy Hook used words of love, peace, or optimism.
“I’m kind of showing how they shouldn’t dwell on the past, and they should look to the future on all the good things that are going to happen in life,” said Davis Hey, Emily’s brother.
The cards will soon be on their way to Sandy Hook.
“I think these (cards) are going to brighten the spirit and make them feel a little more happy,” Emily said.