It’s been more than three weeks since the horrific shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and many of us are still figuring out how to help keep our students safe.

While many are focused on changing legislation of firearms, one mom wanted to step up and do something now.

“When I was scrolling through Facebook after the horrific shooting, I read a blog post written by a teacher, and how she gives her students lollipops during lockdown drills,” said Kristen Hewitt, TV reporter, blogger and mom to two daughters. “I immediately nodded and thought about how I do the same — I give our girls lollipops when we travel. It soothes them, helps their ears when we fly, and keeps them quiet for a bit while they enjoy the rare treat.”

She continued: “As soon as I read that article I knew that’s what I could do – work to get lollipops donated to every class in elementary schools across the country.”

And that’s how Lollipops for Lockdown was born.

According to Hewitt, many teachers already provide their young students with treats of some sort during drills or lockdown procedures, and they pay for them out of their own pockets.

Currently, the goal of the organization is to provide enough lollipops for every elementary school in Broward County, which is roughly 112,000 students, but Hewitt would like to see the program instituted in all of Florida and beyond.

Lollipops for Lockdown received their first major donation from Hewitt’s local Trader Joe’s, and she has collected more than 10,000 so far in just under two weeks. There also has been commitments of support from several other local grocery store chains.

Yes, we want a safer world; and yes, we want all the schools in the country to become more secure. But in the interim, we can all do our small part to keep our kids comforted during this tumultuous time.”

Interested in contributing to this program or starting one of your own? Follow Lollipops for Lockdown on Facebook for details, sample letters or to purchase lollipops for donation.


Whitney Fleming

Whitney is a mom of three teen daughters, a communications consultant, and blogger. She tries to dispel the myth of being a typical suburban mom although she is often driving her minivan to soccer practices and attending PTA meetings. She writes about parenting, relationships, and w(h)ine on her blog Playdates on Fridays.