NEWTOWN, Conn., Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Officials in Newtown, Conn., say there has been an outpouring of support from at home and around the world for the families of the school shooting victims.
Churches and social agencies in the Connecticut town said their phones began ringing almost immediately after the news of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School broke Friday.
"We've been hearing from people all over the country asking how they can help and what they can do to support he families," said Newtown Savings Bank President John Trentacosta. "This all happened so quickly."
Newton Savings and the United Way established a fund to help the families of the 20 children and six adults who died in the shooting spree. NBC News said a number of other groups followed suit with their own donation campaigns.
Along with money, there has been a steady stream of phone calls and emails from as far away as Asia and Africa. Local residents have been busy providing meals for bereaved families and psychological counseling.
A Lutheran chaplain told NBC he hoped folks would consider spiritual support for the staggered community.
"That's more powerful than anything they can do up close -- including providing food or shelter," said Leo McIlrath of Lutheran Home in Southbury. "We do all that already in this community. We don't need people to put something in a box and send it here. We need to be as of one mind and one heart and one spirit."