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Volunteer crafts memorial for Sandy Hook victims

Area residents are finding ways to show they are remembering those suffering in the wake of the tragedy that struck Newtown, Conn.

Jody Adams, 78, of Charleston, has volunteered at St. Francis Hospital for 22 years and now donates her time in the emergency room two days a week.

With her artistic flair, she recently created a Christmas tree from ribbon for one wall. After the shootings occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary, a co-worker suggested she add something to the display as a memorial.

A total of 26 people were gunned down at the school on Dec. 14 when 20-year-old Adam Lanza, clad all in black, broke into the school and opened fire on students and staff. The gunman also killed his mother at her home and committed suicide.

The incident has weighed heavily on the hearts of people everywhere.

"Every time I think of those children, it breaks my heart," Adams said.

She turned to her life-long love for art to create a memorial that is visible to all who enter the emergency room area.  

For each victim, she made a paper angel and put a name on it. The angels float above the Christmas tree.

"We put the angels along the top because that is closer to heaven, which I am sure is where they are," Adams said.

She made 12 pink angels for the girls and eight blue for the boys. The six larger angels represent the adults who died in the tragedy.

"My main objective was to Facebook it to Connecticut so they would know somebody in West Virginia cared," she said, referring to the social media Internet site.

She estimates the artwork that includes the tree and the angels is 72 square inches.  

It has been quite an eye-catching display with people stopping to stare at it and some wiping away tears.

"I am told one doctor stood there five minutes," she said. "An entire department came to see it."

Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at or 304-348-1246.


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