The basement of the building resembled a toy store, with piles of stuffed penguins, Barbie dolls, board games, soccer balls and other fun gifts. All the toys were inspected and examined by bomb-sniffing dogs before being sorted and put on card tables. The children could choose whatever they wanted.
"But we're not checking IDs at the door," said Tom Mahoney, the building administrator, who's in charge of handling gifts. "If there is a child from another town who comes in need of a toy, we're not going to turn them away."
The United Way of Western Connecticut said the official fund for donations had $2.6 million in it Saturday morning. Others sent envelopes stuffed with cash to pay for coffee at the general store, and a shipment of cupcakes arrived from a gourmet bakery in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The Postal Service reported a six-fold increase in mail in town and set up a unique post office box to handle it. The parcels come decorated with rainbows and hearts drawn by school children.
Some letters arrive in packs of 26 identical envelopes – one for each family of the children and staff killed or addressed to the "First Responders" or just "The People of Newtown." One card arrived from Georgia addressed to "The families of 6 amazing women and 20 beloved angels." Many contain checks.
"This is just the proof of the love that's in this country," said Postmaster Cathy Zieff.
The funerals for the victims were wrapping up after a wrenching week of farewells in Newtown. Services were scheduled Saturday in Connecticut for Josephine Gay, 7, and Ana Marquez-Greene, 6. A service was also planned in Utah for 6-year-old Emilie Parker.