Walmart shoppers support Newtown community

Shoppers share messages of compassion for those affected school shooting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Walmart shoppers in Jacksonville took a moment Saturday to sign banners that will be sent to Newtown, Connecticut, to those grieving after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Channel 4's Kumasi Aaron spoke with some shoppers about the messages of support they shared on the banners, which were featured in the Regency and Fleming Island stores.

"That little note that someone writes down means so much more than an email," said shopper Diane Cohan.

Cohan and dozens of others stopped shopping and signed the banner for Newtown's children. For Cohan, it was just a little way to share a big message about how much she cares.

"My heart's been breaking ever since it happened, and I feel like my hands are tied other than sending money," she said. "So it was just kind of a way of saying what I wanted to say."

Cohan's message is filled with love and compassion. Cohan said words of kindness made a difference in her healing, and hoped hers would do the same for others.

"Just I want to send them love and God's blessing," she said. "Just keep that in their hearts and that will get them through. I know, I've been there."

Organizers said they hope the two banners together will uplift those who need it most in Newtown.

Organizer Robert Slama said he and a group of friends sent a banner to New Orleans after Katrina, and they wanted to do the same for Newtown.

The banners say, "God Bless Newtown, Connecticut. Jacksonville, Florida loves you."

One will go to the elementary school. The other will go to a local boy scout pack.

"It's one thing for me to tell you a whole city loves you, is thinking about you. It's another thing when you come in the school and you physically see it. And it reminds you that a whole bunch of people stand with you," said Slama.

Those who left the notes said they hope the children who read them know just how much others are thinking about them.

"Just to know that other people care and other people love and love them, and are thinking of them. And are trying to wrap their arms around them," said Cohan.

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