After hearing about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 11-year-old Makenzie Dayton planned a teddy bear drive to send stuffed bears to the community of Newtown, Conn.
The drive started at 10 a.m. on Wednesday and ended at 7 p.m. In the Kohl's parking lot, crowds of people got together to donate both teddy bears and money.
Other local businesses joined in as well -- the Redding Home Depot donated boxes and paid for the shipping cost of the bears, Coca-Cola donated 700 bears and Budget Car Rental permitted the toy drive to use one of its trucks to put all the toys in.
Local company Jeter’s Playground surprised Makenzie on Wednesday with an airplane ticket to Newtown so that she can deliver the bears herself.
"I'm feeling really excited because I would like to really meet the students that I'm raising all this stuff for and the teachers and to see them smile again,” Makenzie said.
The drive collected about 1,500 bears. They will be shipped to Newtown, Connecticut early next month.