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Artist creates angels for shooting victims' families

10:55 AM, Dec 20, 2012   |    comments
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Wooden angels made by a Plainfield Township woman for the families of victims of the Connecticut school shootings.

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- A West Michigan artist says, at times like these, we all need an angel -- and she is creating 26 of them in memory of the children and educators killed in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Cathy Schaeffer and her volunteer helpers are working overtime at her Plainfield Township home to finish making the angels and get them to the victims' families in Connecticut in time for Christmas.

Making 26 angels out of seasoned Michigan barn wood is hard work, and Schaeffer has high standards.

"They've got to go a certain way," she says. "I'm pretty fussy about my artwork."

Yet if it helps soothe and comfort the sad people in Newtown, Connecticut, Schaeffer and her team say it's worth it.

"It will help heal all the city and the rest of the world," she says.

"Each piece is handmade," says Kris Wong, who is helping to prepare the angels. "They are handmade for parents to remember their children. Each one has a name on them, and each one has different character -- just like each child lost. This is just a work of love."

Schaeffer, Wong and the other people creating the angels say they were inspired to take on this project. They had seen the television coverage and read the news stories about the Connecticut massacre and decided the project was one small thing they could do that might help.

"We are mothers," says Wong. "We are people we can relate to what happened there."

"I believe there are angels among us," says Schaeffer. "We all need an angel."

"In time, when the victims' parents start to heal, they are going to look at these [angels'] faces," says Wong. "They almost look mischievous. They can look and maybe have laughter again."

With the help of her team -- and donations to cover the cost of materials and shipping, Schaeffer is hoping the angels will arrive at the fire station in Newtown by Christmas Eve.

"These girls with their messages will touch the world," says Schaeffer of her angels. "They are just comforting, bottom line. You can find comfort, love and peace."

Kool Chevrolet, Kool Toyota and Pak Mail at Knapp's Corner are picking up the shipping costs.

Schaeffer may also send an angel to the family of Nancy Lanza, the mother of the Sandy Hook Elementary gunman, Adam Lanza.

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