The paper hearts are expected to arrive in Newtown packed in batches of 10,000.
The idea began with a family wanting to make enough paper hearts to stretch the roughly 2,000 miles from Billings, Mont., to Newtown, Conn. That would take about 19 million, and though the response hasn’t been that large, the group told The Associated Press the first batch will be sent this week.
Because Newtown officials have asked people to stop sending gifts, the paper heart will go through the YMCA in the neighboring city of Danbury, according to the AP.
In addition to the paper hearts, dozens of school children made paper snowflakes for Newtown before leaving on Christmas break. Those are expected to continue arriving at the overwhelmed Newtown post office this week. On Wednesday, the postmaster there directed the Connecticut Post to a spokeswoman in Rhode Island, but she did not have additional specifics.
There also have been more than a dozen Facebook groups started for sending various forms of snowflake art to Newtown.
One package of artwork came from students at the Evergreen School in Shoreline, Wash. – a city nearly 3,000 miles away.
Gala Thompson, who is organizing the paper heart drive on Montana, told The Associated Press she hopes more schools, businesses, hospitals and others get involved.
“Hopefully, Newtown will be flattered by this gesture and about how many people are compassionate and kind,” she told the AP. “There’s more kindness in the world than there is hate, and that’s what this is all about to begin with.”