(WMC-TV) – Jennifer Sadler recalls watching news reports about the unfolding tragedy in Connecticut, when a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and began shooting.
The mother of a four-year-old girl immediately started praying.
"At first it was one child and then it was 20 children and then six adults/administrators," Sadler said. "It's so close to Christmas and to think someone could come in and do something like this, it's just a heartbreaking feeling," she added.
Sadler knew she had to do something to help, so she prayed again that night, and came up with the idea of sending personalized gifts from Memphis to Newtown.
"A candle, a post card with Memphis memorabilia on it…It shows that we are caring about you as a person, you as a family," Sadler explained. "I text messaged about 30 friends, put it on Facebook immediately."
Once she had gotten the word out, people started donating teddy bears, time, retail discounts. Sunday, Sadler reserved the events room at the Highland Avenue Jason's Deli for people to personalize the gifts. Right down to the names of the families.
"A lot of people are sending gifts to children, the survivors, the ones who are going to be displaced and sent to different elementary schools. I don't know how it would feel to lose a child, but I know one community can reach out to another community. It doesn't matter if it's hundreds of miles away," Sadler said.