The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Clinton

January 1, 2013

Clinton woman leads crusade to honor Conn. shooting victims

CLINTON — Carol Leavy’s kitchen counter and table are filled with more than 1,000 little angel faces.

She’s got boxes of ribbon, bows and a hot glue gun all in order to create mementos for the people of the Connecticut community reeling from last month’s elementary school shooting.  

Newtown, Conn., may not immediately feel the support of the Clinton resident and the people who join her in making the small angels that will be sent for support as part of her “Wings and a Prayer” project, but she hopes someday they will. She also hopes area residents will join her in creating the tokens of support.  

Leavy is inviting anyone who wants to make a green and white angel to join her from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at the Sawmill Museum, 2231 Grant St.  

“People will have a sense of doing something, no matter how small,” Leavy said. “This also gives people a chance to get together and be a part of the healing process.”

She’s made the angels before as a fundraiser for homecare and hospice at Mercy Hospital. They’re made with a round wooden piece painted with a face and decorated with a halo, two pieces of honeycomb ribbon, one of which is bent in the shape of a body and the other into wings. and finally a bow. The angels can stand on their own, or be turned into an ornament, among other things. For Leavy, an angel can be completed in less than five minutes.    

After the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Leavy’s sister, who works for the Sandy Hook School District, asked if Leavy could make more to send to the people who were hurting.

“This is something that every Christmas people will remember that this happened,” Leavy said. “This could be the ornament people pull out and reminds them, not in a bad way.”   

After her sister told her that making the angels would be a good idea, Leavy ordered the supplies. However, in the meantime between ordering and receiving, reports began to surface that the town had been inundated with items from across the country.  

“Here I am planning this project and all I hear in the media is ‘don’t send anything,’” she said. “I asked my sister if she was still sure this was a good idea. She told me ‘Yes.’”

Anyone is invited to make angels. Leavy advises people with children to attend as they will be using a hot glue gun and scissors. The Sawmill Museum will be allowing free admission for angel makers on Saturday.   

When the angels are completed, Leavy will ship them to her sister, who will then distribute them when they are needed.  

“I don’t know what it will mean to somebody. I have no idea. But I think even the process of making it and sending it could be cathartic for people,” Leavy said.

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