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To Connecticut, with love

December 27, 2012

Larry McGuire/The Punxsutawney Spirit Mercy Smith is pictured holding a pillowcase she decorated for the "Sleep in Heavenly Peace" project for the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut. Smith is standing next to donation boxes that will be placed at various locations throughout the area. (Photo by Larry McGuire/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — While the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Connecticut will be forever etched into the memories of the students who attended school there, a Punxsutawney woman has come up with an idea that she feels might bring some comfort and peace to those students.

"I've titled it the "Sleep in Heavenly Peace" project, where we provide pillowcases with a verse from Proverbs written on them for the kids to see before they go to sleep each night," said Drinda Smith of Punxsutawney.

"I was cleaning my bathroom and having a conversation with God about what I could do to help the surviving students who attended school
at Sandy Hook Elementary when I thought of creating pillowcases with a Bible verse written on them to provide comfort to those who are dealing with this tragedy," she said.

Smith said she would like to have enough pillowcases made to give all 700 students, including the families of the students and teachers who were killed.

She said that when her son, Joel Riggleman, passed away in a fatal auto accident last year, the whole family was sleeping together in the one room to comfort each other at night.

"My mom, Bonnie Stuchell, owns Lydia's Quilt Shop, and she had this verse on her card,” Smith said, adding that the verse is from Proverbs 3:24 which reads, ‘When you lie down, you will not be afraid. When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.’"

Smith said she would like to have the pillowcases completed and sent out by the end of January.

She said to complete the project, they need new white or light-colored pre-washed pillowcases (she prefers cotton over polyester), fabric markers and or funds to purchase these supplies.

"Anyone who works with children or youth, we are looking for students to prepare the pillowcases and perhaps sign their names to make it more personal for the Sandy Hook students," Smith said.

She said the quilt shop will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7 for anyone who would like to come in and complete a pillowcase.

Smith said donations may be dropped off at Smith's Auto Body on Route 119 in Young Township, Lydia's Quilt Shop on Stuchell Lane — located near PennDOT — in Fairview or Simple Elegance by Michelle on East Mahoning Street in Punxsy.

For more information, call Smith at 952-9127 or Lydia's at 938-8488.

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