BRAINTREE (CBS) — A local firefighter’s effort to help families in Newtown, Conn., has paid off in a big way.
“I was actually sitting here in the firehouse and I said to one of the guys, I said, ‘What do you think about making some stickers in remembrance of the children and these teachers?” Robbie Loud recalled of his reaction to the shooting of 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
He reached out to a friend in the printing business, Larry Chan from Signs and Prints in Braintree, who helped come up with two decals. One has the date of the tragedy, 12/14/12, and the other has six stars for the teachers and 20 for the children who died.
“We made up the stickers and then it was just go-go-go after that. It really hit home with my girls in second grade and kindergarten and then one on the way. It just it really hit home,” he said.
Within days of picking up the first batch of stickers in late December, Loud was ordering more decals, and now, five months later, he has sold more than 7,000. Tuesday, Loud will mail a $16,000 dollar check from Braintree Firefighters Local 920 to The Sandy Hook School Support Fund.
“I just couldn’t fathom that people would do this for such a great cause so fast and so quick. It was just overwhelming,” he said.
The stickers cost just $2 and $4, but he had some donors who gave much more. “Just the generosity of people coming in and handing you, say, a two-hundred dollar check, taking two stickers, and walking out the door. It was just fascinating,” Loud said.
The effort has been a lot of work, but worth every single moment, the Braintree firefighter said.
To all of the supporters, from near and far (Loud had donors from Japan, California and Colorado to name a few far-flung locations), he says thank you on behalf of those who will benefit from the generosity.
“The support has been overwhelming,” he said.