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Dec 30, 2012 8:04 PM by David Jay

Paper Hearts Across America connecting nationwide for Newtown

BILLINGS - Many still think about Newtown, Connecticut after the shootings earlier this month at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"Paper Hearts Across America" has become one way to send caring messages to Newtown
The campaign started in Billings and has spread to other parts of the country and the world.
Organizers of Paper Hearts Across America have set up tables at the YMCA and other places in Billings...for people to write messages on hearts.
"It's a simple way to be kind," said Gala Thompson, who founded Paper Hearts Across America.
Thompson says Paper Hearts has grown to around the nation and the world, .since she started the campaign with her family, friends and neighbors a day after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.
"To write in and have a message, just a simple gesture and kindness, I think is amazing," Thompson said. :"And to be able to connect it all together, just a beautiful thing."
The Paper Hearts chain started with about 150, and now thousands have come in from around the country.
"The counts up to 10,000, could be closer to 12 thousand hearts," Thompson said.
Paper Hearts has been covered by news outlets in New York, Baltimore, Minnesota, and nationally.
And a woman in Florida has joined the effort.
"What grabbed me was the compassion, the caring of people," said Sharon Dixon of St. Augustine, Florida.
The Froemke Family in Lindstrom, Minnesota put up a table at the Rosedale Mall in Roseville, north of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
"Connecting one community to another during a time they need help in healing is really important," said Julia Froemke. "It's helping everybody that wants to connect in that way."
"We need more of this type of caring and compassion that's being sent," said Dixon.
"A little heart would maybe brighten someone's day," Thompson said. "Maybe a whole community's day, maybe a whole state's day, maybe a whole world's day, who knows?"
For now it's a simple message to the people in Newtown..
Many of the hearts have been sent to Broadwater School, so the Thompsons and friends can tape them together into a chain and send them to Newtown.

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