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Nearly a year after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, one family talks about how kindness has overtaken evil. “Evil did not win that day, ” says the mother of Emilie Parker, one of 20 children who didn’t survive the tragedy on Dec. 14, 2012.

Her mom recalls how, just before the shooting, Emilie filled a box with toys for children who didn’t have any. After Emilie was gone, her mom wondered: How could evil be so powerful? She couldn’t comprehend the loss of one of the most giving, selfless people she’d ever know. Then, letters of love started pouring in. Acts of kindness flooded their community.

Her mom recalls: “I started to feel this strength and power that lifted me. It was time to finish what she wanted done.” Donating that box of toys. Connecting children in need with art (Emilie loved art). Advocating for safety in schools — and so much more.

“We will carry on that love like she had, ” she says.

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