Teacher shares Christmas mission to Newtown, CT - New York News

Teacher shares Christmas mission to Newtown, CT

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MESA, Ariz. -

A valley teacher has done what she can to help victims of the shooting tragedy. She just returned from the east coast after delivering cookies to Connecticut.

Faith Leonard is a special education teacher at Bush Elementary School in Mesa, and she was determined to do something for the people in Newtown, Connecticut.

So she drove all the way there to give out cookies, hugs and smiles to people in town. She just got back.

When teacher Faith Leonard heard about the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, she knew she wanted to do something to help.

"I'm not a mom yet - and I just felt moved to just kind of be there and let them know that people here were thinking about them," says Faith.

So Faith drove her SUV 2,500 miles from Mesa to Newtown with 500 homemade cookies to hand out to people in town.

"I was there in the town square hugging and listening and smiling."

She also volunteered to help in sorting items donated to the victims and their families, an outpouring of support for everyone in town.

"There was some company that had donated like 7,000 panda bears that we just got to hand out to every kid that came up there," says Faith. "It made me realize as I was going through it, that is was just kind of, be the good that you want to see in the world."

Faith also wears a bracelet as a reminder of what happened that tragic day.

"Angels of Sandy Hook. Hope faith and love."

Residents in Newtown were thankful for people like Faith. One woman even gave her this tree on Christmas Eve.

"I have made a lot of long, long time friends, that I can tell I will go back and spend time in the special little town."

Faith says she and her husband plan on making a return trip to Newtown in the future.

She said the community welcomed her with open arms and even named her an honorary Newtown resident.

Related story: AZ teacher road trips to Newtown to bring Christmas joy

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