How You Can Help: Operation Snuggle Newtown

Help Patch show Newtown's children the world loves them: Drop off a new teddy bear at one of our many locations.

We all had the same reaction when we first heard the news of the mass shootings at Sandy Hook School in Newtown: shock and disbelief.

And then, when the reality set in that 20 children and six adults had indeed been murdered at the school by a gunman, we all again had the same feeling — 'What can I do to help?'

Patch Ad Manager Lindsay Braun wanted to do more than watch what was happening. On Friday night, less than 12 hours after the shootings, she sent this email to her colleagues across eastern Connecticut:

"Fellow Patch Team members, As many of you are probably feeling tonight, this senseless tragedy has made us all feel helpless. I want to do something for these poor families. I will be collecting stuffed animals for the children of Newtown over the next week. ... I want these children to have something to comfort them, and something to hug in the coming weeks as this all unfolds."

And so was born Operation Snuggle Newtown.

Even though Newtown is miles from most of the Patch towns in what we call eastern Connecticut, we are all united in our feelings about what happened. Newtown is Stonington; Newtown is Avon; Newtown is Vernon; Newtown is Durham. It could be any of us going through what the residents of Newtown are going through, and through the power of Patch we want to show those folks — and especially those children — that they are not alone.

Below is a list of local businesses that have agreed to be drop-off locations for Operation Sunggle Newtown. This week, if you can, drop off a new teddy bear at any of these businesses. If you'd like, please leave a card with your name and feel free to share your thoughts of condolence. We want to show Newtown that they are not alone. 

If you are a business and would like to be a drop-off point for Operation Snuggle Newtown, please leave your business name, street address and town in the comments and we will add you to the list.

Operation Snuggle Newtown Drop-Offs


  • State Farm Insurance, 10 Hyde Ave., Vernon
  • Beyond Dance, 243 Regan Rd., Vernon


  • Ellsworth Medical LLC, 540 Windsor Avenue, Windsor
  • Ashley's Distinctive Jewelry & Gifts, 555 Day Hill Road, Day Hill Village Shopppes, Windsor. Mon - Fri 10am - 7pm Sat 10am - 5pm


  • Wilcox & Reynolds Insurance, 922 Stafford Road, Storrs


  • Manchester Ring of Champions Society, 52 Main Street, Manchester. open M-F 5pm - 8pm


  • Crossroads Gifts & Greetings, 588 Main St, Somers. Mon 11-4, Tues, Wed, Fri 10-4, Sat 10-2
Adam B. Weissberger December 17, 2012 at 09:22 PM
We had a great day receiving bears today... Please stop by my office between 9am-5pm Monday-Friday with any donation! Adam B. Weissberger State Farm Insurance 10 Hyde Avenue (in Lafayette Square next to Dunkin Donuts) Vernon, CT 06066
Carolyn December 17, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Ultimate 1 Hair Salon 311 Green Road Manchestet,CT 06042 860-643-2103
Jonathan Allen December 17, 2012 at 10:58 PM
One of the means of dealing with grief is to "do something" and the idea of giving at this time is a good one. However, is anyone coordinating these teddy bear collections with anyone in Newtown? I know of many organizations beyond yours, churches, radio stations etc. both here and around the world who are doing the same. What is Newtown, going to do with all these teddy bears? It will be a burden on an already devistated community if in their time of grief they have to acknowledge, store and dispose of all the bears they get. When I told my minister of this, his thought was to donate them to the Children's Medical Center in Hartford in memory of those lost, to spread the comfort to others in need. If Newtown needs them then pass them on, but if they don't, ask where they might be sent to do the most good.
Elissa Bass December 18, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Cathleen, anything that can be hugged! Thank you so much!
Elissa Bass December 18, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Thanks so much to all the businesses that have volunteered to be drop-off points. We are going to close this off now, 7:30 p.m. on Monday because we don't want it to become too big — please, drop off a teddy bear or other comforting stuffed friend at any of the amazing businesses that have come forward. We will update the article Tuesday or Wednesday with more information. And you have photos of your teddys, please post them to this article. Thank you everyone!


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