NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — More than two weeks after police say a six-year-old student intentionally fired a gun inside Richneck Elementary School, shooting his teacher, Abby Zwerner, the community continues to come together to support Zwerner in her recovery.
In addition to business fundraisers, a Williamsburg mom is raising more than a thousand dollars to donate to Zwerner's GoFundMe page.
Kathryn Hill says the incident made her want to make a difference.
"It just left me completely speechless, but at the same time, left me with so much to say," said Hill.
The former first grade Newport News teacher and now mother of two has her own online design and fashion shop, Southern Simplicity Designs, where she makes special shirts to sell in the community.
When she learned about what happened to Abby Zwerner, she wanted to use her platform to send a message. So, she made a pink shirt, saying, "Teach With Love" with the help of Parkway Printshop.
"It went viral, and people were sharing it like crazy," said Hill. "People from all over the country shared posts and it humbled me."
Selling nearly a thousand of these pink reminders of Zwerner's heroic actions, Hill is now adding to the teacher's GoFundMe page. The T-shirts are not just bringing in donations. They're sending out a message.
"Every day they walk into that classroom, they don't know what that day is going to hold, but they still stick it out and they do it for their students," said Hill. "At the end of the day, other changes need to be made at higher levels to really support these teachers and make them feel appreciated. "
Hill says that message is now bringing people together to help create that change.
"And I hope that while they're wearing it, it reminds them why they're teaching and why they love it so much," said Hill.
Kathryn Hill says she is still counting the number of T-shirts she is sending out to people who bought them online.