Our original plans were to film the groundbreaking of the Sanctuary in November, 2014. But with the permit schedule and changes in the construction timeline, the groundbreaking date has been changed. Jenny and her team have a lot of work in front of them -- at the same time, we have a wonderful story to share. So we're moving ahead with a short film about the first year of the journey. It's an amazing story and one that speaks to finding the positive in grief, something we can all relate to.
Catherine Hubbard used to chase butterflies, trying to catch them before they flew away. But even as a small child, she understood her relationship with all living things. Catherine decided she would stop chasing butterflies and just sit still, allowing them to come to her. She whispered to each one when they arrived “tell your friends that I am kind”, so more would pay her a visit.
Catherine Hubbard and her first-grade class were killed on December 14, 2012, when a lone gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. She was just six-years old. But as her mother, Jennifer Hubbard believes, there is good that can come out of an unthinkable moment of horror.
Catherine’s love for animals was firm. As her first-grade year was beginning, she had business cards made that read “Catherine’s Animal Shelter”; her chosen title was “Care Taker”. She would watch birds nest, she was fascinated by worms, she loved her rabbit and her dog, her dream was to have a place where animals could come and be cared for.
CATHERINE'S DREAM IS ON THE PATH TO BECOMING A REALITY.
In late 2015 or early 2016, Catherine's family hopes to break ground on The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary in Newtown. Located on a 32-acre plot of land, the sanctuary will be all that Catherine dreamed of, and would have created, had she lived. A place where children will come to be with animals and learn about animals, where animals, rescued and native will live, and where all living things will feel safe and respected.
It is a challenging journey to go from a plot of state-owned land to a realized dream, but it's a journey that Jenny and her family are willing to take in Catherine's memory and in her honor.
Tell Them I am Kind is the story of the first year of this journey. From Catherine being named the ASPCA Child of the Year in 2013 to the installation of the first sign on the property -- a moment that represents not just the future of the sanctuary, but the future Catherine's dream -- and we will tell the story of this incredible project.
Jenny Hubbard does not hide from the grief that has enveloped her life since that terrible day in December. Instead of running from it, she is working to turn her grief into her daughter’s legacy. For Jenny, Catherine’s sanctuary is her field of dreams – and if she builds it, the animals and children will come.
“Tell Them I Am Kind” is Catherine Violet Hubbard’s story. The story of a little girl whose all-too-short life was devoted to all living things. Who cared deeply for and respected the world around her and whose passion for life and animals touched everyone she met. It is not a story of loss, but rather a story of living in the natural world and never losing sight of how even the smallest creatures can touch us all.