GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A day after the shooting at a Texas elementary school, Grand Rapids mothers and their children are sending their love hundreds of miles away to the grieving families.
"Evelyn is three and a half," says Jenna Nance, motioning to her daughter. "She goes to preschool, she goes to an elementary school."
So when Nance heard the news out of Texas, she stopped to think.
"It made me think about, what if?" wonders Nance.
On Wednesday, she brought her daughter to the Grand Woods Lounge, joining other parents and children sending cards and notes of encouragement to those impacted by the shooting.
Nance says even so far away, as a mother, she's grieving with the families who lost their kids.
"We get to read books to her at night, put her to bed. All these things parents take for granted," says Nance. "I know I do sometimes."
She says having the conversation about the shooting with her daughter was hard.
But Taylor Holmes believes its a necessary one to have.
"Your child is almost what you make them, you know what I mean?" says Holmes, president of the Grand Rapids Mamas' Club.
Holmes organized the gathering, and will be sending out the cards through her organization. She says teaching children to be kind at an early age can help make a change.
"If this kid, someone invited to lunch the day before, would this happen?" wonders Holmes. "Someone smiled at him at the grocery store, would this have happened? You just never know."
And while a simple card can't repair the hole left by a lost loved one, Nance hopes it will at least make some difference.
"I think people almost need permission to feel what they're feeling and know this isn't the way life is supposed to be," says Nance. "No one should experience this kind of hurt."
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