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Pickerington showing support amidst tragedy
Messenger photo by Kim Lunsford
Cards were collected throughout the Pickerington community to show support for the friends, families and victims of the Chardon High School shooting tragedy.
Pickerington community members used their creative minds to help students and staff at Chardon High School, a high school suffering the loss of three students.
“It’s such a tragedy because it is a loss of a kid,” Pickerington DARE officer Dan Simcox said. “There is nothing worse than losing a kid no matter what the circumstances. Violence gets you nowhere except in trouble. It’s a tragedy.”
Feb. 27 started out as any other day at Chardon High School, located just outside Cleveland.
Shots from the cafeteria would change students’ worlds forever. T.J. Lane allegedly walked into the cafeteria and began his shooting spree, which ended the lives of three students and left three more injured.
Local leaders wondered what they could do to show their support for the Chardon community.
Last week, the Pickerington Police Department and the city of Pickerington began the Cards for Chardon campaign in which the police department began collecting cards for students and staff at Chardon High School.
The collection of cards ended this past week, but dispatcher Carolyn Sharp said the police department will continue to support those in Chardon through the collection of cards as long as they continue to be submitted.
The idea came from the police department’s communications room as employees discussed the impact of the tragedy and the loss on any community.
“It was so close to us,” Sharp said. “That really made it hit home with us. We really wanted to do something.”
Community members were encouraged to express their feelings for the loss of loved ones and the influence of a tragic event on the ones fortunate enough to survive.
“Our hope is to get a card for each student and faculty member,” Sharp said. “We are concerned about this issue and want to try to show our support. We hope this helps with the healing process.”
The cards, which did not have to be stamped for sending, are being boxed up by those in the communications room and will be shipped to the school.
While the campaign is over, Sharp said any letters that come in after the deadline will be forwarded to the school as well. The police department encourages other groups in the area to join its cause.
“Although a small token, we hope our expression of sympathy will be well received and that each friend, victim and family member knows that this city has them in their thoughts and prayers,” Pickerington Police Chief Michael D. Taylor said in a letter to media.
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