Rubber ducks have become a source of hope and something to smile about for the people involved in the Sandy Hook shooting, thanks to police officer Todd Keeping.
When a box of 500 rubber yellow ducks from a Colorado Kiwanis club showed up at Chalk Hill School, Sandy Hook Elementary’s temporary home in Monroe, Conn., in early January as a donation, school officials weren’t sure what to do with them.
But Keeping, who was assigned to work at Chalk Hill, had an idea. The next day he and a fellow officer spread the ducks by the dozen all over the school -- in the hallways, on window sills, anywhere they could think of -- for the students and teachers to claim. Within a few days, all 500 ducks were gone.
"They loved them, absolutely loved them," said Keeping, who has two children who went to Sandy Hook. "The ducks bring joy to them -- and that's exactly what they need."
Due to the ducks' popularity, Keeping started a Facebook page called “The Ducks of Sandy Hook Elementary” to solicit donations, raising $500 to order another batch. Members of the Sandy Hook-Chalk Hill community began taking pictures of themselves with the toy ducks, which Keeping started posting and sharing on the page. It now has over 7,000 “likes.”
Support has been pouring in from all over, with people posting pictures of the ducks from far and wide, including China, New York City and the Columbine Memorial.
Scroll down past the pictures for the rest of the story.
"We're hoping to get more celebrities to pose with them," Keeping said.
“There are some kids who will only come to school and get on the bus because I promise them they'll get a duck,” Keeping explained. “Some parents tell me that the ducks are the only way they've been able to get them to sleep in their own bed."
To learn more about Keeping’s endeavor, visit the Facebook page.
You can also purchase ducks through Oriental Trading. Call 1-800-228-2269 to place your order and they’ll ship the ducks for free. Or send some ducks directly to: The Ducks of Sandy Hook Elementary, 261 S. Main Street #312, Newtown, CT 06470 USA