NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — A community donation drive in New Britain is marking the anniversary of a very bad day by doing something very good.
Before the sun even came up, the donations started coming in. By car, even by foot, box after box arrived to help out a very worthy cause.
“I think there are so many families and kids just as precious as my own,” said Nelba Marquez-Greene.
Her own family suffered an awful loss 7 years ago. Her daughter Ana Marquez-Greene was one of the 20 first graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. Nelba and her husband started the Ana Grace Project in her memory. It teamed up with Central Connecticut State University and the city of New Britain for the Love Wins community drive.
They collected baby items, toiletries, non-perishable food, and winter clothes for both adults and children. Some of that food will stay on campus to help needy college students.
“The food pantry on campus will be filled to help the students that are going hungry,” explained Mayor Erin Stewart (R-New Britain). “The toys will go to needy families that don’t have enough money or resources to provide Christmas presents for their kids this year.”
A DJ made the whole thing seem like a party, and student groups from Central helped collect and sort all those donations.
“It makes us feel wonderful to be able to volunteer and to have a direct impact on sorting and giving and out seeing where these things go and how they help students and the community,” said Destiny Johnson of the Women’s Swim Team.
A lot of the donations come from the police and fire departments, all supporting that theme of “Love Wins,” which is also the slogan of the Ana Grace Project. One day before the Sandy Hook anniversary, Ana’s mother adding something to that slogan that she hopes everyone takes to heart.
“In honor of my daughter and our family, I want them to remember that love does win, but only when we work it,” Marquez-Greene said.
Working it was exactly what all those volunteers did this morning.