Alcoa Elementary School teacher Christy Evans wished she could drive to Newtown, Connecticut and give every student of Sandy Hook Elementary a hug.
Unfortunately, the teacher knew that was not an option and came up with another idea to show her love.
"Teddy bears are the next best thing," Evans said.
The teacher posted the idea on her Facebook page and the Volunteer Teddy Bear Drive caught on.
"Our goal is to collect about 650 bears which is about how many students are at the school and also bears for the families who lost their children," said teacher Kristi Snyder.
Evans hopes the teddy bears will be delivered to Newtown before the end of the year.
"School isn't a bad place. It's a happy place. It's where you go to be safe and I want them to know that and remember that," Evans said.
"I think it's really neat because I know what happened and it must be very scary for them. They would have something to sleep with at night and keep warm and not be scared anymore," said student Anastasia Lamar.
You can drop off new, medium-sized teddy bears at the locations listed below for the next two weeks.
-Any American Trust Bank location:
*Lenoir City- 256 Medical Park Drive
*Knoxville- 5426 Homberg Drive and 6771 Baum Drive
*LaFollette- 2025 Jacksboro Pike
-Studio C Hair Salon
*Maryville-1714 West Broadway Avenue
*Louisville- 3016 Topside Business Park Drive