BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – A South Florida mother has started a movement designed to keep students calm during lockdown drills following the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Kristen Hewitt came up with the idea for Lollipops for Lockdown after reading a blog post.
You might recognize her as a South Florida TV reporter, but she’s also a concerned mom who really wanted to make a difference after the Feb. 14 shooting.
She partnered with Broward County Public Schools and Publix to reach her goal of 115,000 lollipops. Publix donated a whopping 10,000 lollipops for the cause on Thursday.
"When we got the call for Lollipops for Lockdown, we thought, this makes great sense to be a part of," Publix spokeswoman Nicole Krauss said. "We were really excited to just have something just to comfort the students when they're dealing with something that's, you know, their reality now. It's a silver lining, if you will, for something that they have to deal with every day."
Third-grader Lila Hewitt, 9, told Local 10 News that her school has done drills for code-red lockdowns, where her classmates are told to huddle together in the class bathroom with the lights off.
She said she believed the lollipops will help keep students calm and quiet during real lockdowns.
Her friend agreed.
"When you suck them, it will make you quiet and make you not be worried," 6-year-old Julie Gildon said.
Lollipops for Lockdown also enlisted the help of the South Plantation High Key Club to help count each lollipop for each school.
Their goal is to collect 115,000 lollipops.
Click here to help them reach their goal.