Kirkland community builds hope for Sandy Hook, brick by brick | Update

Joene LaBou had an idea to help the people of Newtown, Conn. help rebuild their spirits, Brick by Brick. - Contributed Photo
Joene LaBou had an idea to help the people of Newtown, Conn. help rebuild their spirits, Brick by Brick.
— image credit: Contributed Photo

When Kirkland resident Joene LaBou heard the news of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings her heart broke just as many Americans’ hearts did.

And, like many Americans, she asked what could be done – not in politics, social reform or mental health research, but out of love for her fellow neighbors, and naturally she went to Facebook and planted an idea.

“I have a thought. As I read about (the tragedy) today and how difficult it would be for the children and teachers to return to that school, what if we each send a single brick to Sandy Hook?” Labou wrote on her Facebook wall. “If everyone in the country could, they could build a new school with bricks of hope and prayer from our love and concern. Who’s with me on this? If you are, please share.”

And people did.

LaBou said she’s received well over 100 responses, mostly from Kirkland residents, and the number is growing.

Brick by Brick was formed with the intent to send bricks with personalized messages of comfort, inspiration or love to Sandy Hook Elementary or the fire station that housed the children after the shooting.

“This has gone so fast, I didn’t expect it to get so big,” Labou said. “I feel like we’re all walking around wishing there was something we could do, something more personal than giving money.”

Melissa and Nick Rossi from Woodinville-based Division 9 Flooring contacted LaBou and offered to truck the bricks to Newtown, Conn.

She’s procured someone to donate bricks and has already raised a couple thousand dollars. The money will be used for installation of the monument, brick pathway or garden patio, depending on how many bricks she gets.

For those who are interested in dropping off their own brick or decorating their own, LaBou said she has secured Ford of Kirkland at 11800 124th Ave. N.E. as the location.

LaBou contacted a representative with the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Newtown about her idea and she said he was very thankful and planned to announce her efforts at mass.

LaBou said on Tuesday evening the church had been doing two funerals a day for the victims and that when she spoke to the church official last Saturday, he was “overwrought with grief.”

“There are no words,” she said. “From the west coast to the east coast, this great country of ours can show Sandy Hook our support, hope, our love and concern.”

Citizens can donate to the Brick by Brick Sandy Hook Memorial Fund at any Key Bank.

For more information on brick decorating, email LaBou at or visit the Brick By Brick Sandy Hook Memorial Fund Facebook page for updates.


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