Dozens of Maryland children spent part of Saturday making paper snowflakes to be sent to the survivors of this month's school shooting in Connecticut.
On a cold and blustery Saturday, dozens of local families made a trip to a store called Green Jeans Children's Boutique in the Kentlands neighborhood of Gaithersburg. On this visit, the families were not coming for the gently used clothing and shoes for sale. They came to make paper snowflakes.
The decorations will be sent to the children who survived the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The Sandy Hook survivors will resume school at a different building early next year.
"We want to be part of that movement to make that location beautiful for them," explained Valerie Dugan, one of the co-owners of Green Jeans. "And maybe take their minds off what happened. And brighten their day. There's going to be a winter wonderland. And hopefully they're going to get snowflakes from across the world."
Fellow owner Diane Strodel said she and her business partner just wanted to do something: "I got in touch with the PTA through the church and heard that [paper snowflakes] is really what they wanted people to do. So, here we are."
Some of the children making snowflakes are so young, their parents have not told them the about the school shooting. Jamie Hirschfeld told her young children the snowflakes were simply to, "help other children. And they, surprisingly, didn't ask any more than that."
But the older kids, here, did know about the massacre. They came to send a message.
Fifth-grader Ethan Feldman said he came to make the paper decorations so that the survivors in Connecticut, "Know that we care."
Middle-schooler Drew Levine said his message is for both the survivors and for those who didn't make it.
"I would say that we're all here for them and it's very sad, and we're going to try and prevent this in the future" said eighth-grader Levine, who added, "And we miss you. We miss all of them."