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Sandy Hook Support Fund Raises Nearly $3 Million in One Week

As of December 21, the Newtown Savings Bank / United Way joint fund had raised $2.8 million.


$2.8 million.

That's how much the team of Newtown Savings Bank and the United Way of Western Connecticut had raised for the Sandy Hook School Support Fund since December 15 -- as of last Friday, just a few days before Christmas.

While many opportunities for contributing have sprung up since the tragic shooting on December 14, the fund is the primary donation source listed on websites for Newtown Public Schools and the town of Newtown.

On Saturday, the United Way of Western Connecticut announced the fund had raised $2.8 million. One hundred percent of funds will go directly to the community, according to the United Way.

"We are overwhelmed by the generosity of caring people from across the nation and around the world who are supporting the Newtown Community," said UWWC CEO Kim Morgan in the December 22 release.

In an interview with Patch shortly after the fund was launched, Newtown Savings Bank President John Trentacosta said the United Way and the bank won't have any say in where funds end up -- instead, money will be distributed by an independent advisory board made up of Newtown residents, which could include school officials, parents and religious leaders.

"What we're trying to do is be responsive and helpful to our communities and the citizens who were impacted by [this tragedy]," he said.

In the release, United Way officials also said the they are working with the town to set up a "command center" to help manage volunteers and distribute donations.

To donate, visit their web site's donation form.

wendy lee hewitt December 26, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Has anyone actually seen or does anyone actually HAVE a statement directly from United Way, (UW) that documents their claim regarding the donations and any fees they may or may not be diverting from donations? A formal and respective statement should be published in the media somewhere, but a group of us looking for it, have been unable to locate it. Also: Has the local United Way Group also waived the 1% Fee that the United Way of America ALWAYS gets from their ‘local’ UW Chapters? (Per the Official UW Website)
wendy lee hewitt December 26, 2012 at 08:07 PM
For those wishing to help out on a more personal and LOCAL level, there are alternative legitimate and well-organized groups in place, for their consideration. A great example is The Newtown Alumni Fund, (N.A.F.). The proud alumni of the Newtown School System were the very first group to formally, (and legally), set-up a charitable fund by day's end of the terrible event in Sandy Hook. (www.NewtownAlumniFund.org).
wendy lee hewitt December 26, 2012 at 08:08 PM
It is important to remember that every Newtown student, past & present, can now simply close their eyes to clearly envision what horror unfolded that day… forever and inexorably altering their childhood memories of school rooms filled with wonderment and best friends. The Newtown Alumni Fund hit the ground running and with the help of its numerous members, has already realized a significant amount of donations, pouring in via Newtown Students, literally from around the world. These Alumni have contacted news outlets in their specific geographic locales and have given video and newspaper interviews regarding their ties with Newtown. With broken hearts, they have eloquently shared their hopes for our Newtown of today and of the future. They’ve approached their local charities and have committed to formal fund raising events and drives. These activities are not only bringing donations directly back to Newtown, but are simultaneously showing the world the true face of Newtown. These Alumni are actively involved with their new communities, are respected citizens, prominent business people and humanitarians. The way of life they enjoyed while growing up in Newtown, prepared them as honorable representatives of how a small-town childhood can produce adults who go on to contribute to all that is good in society.
wendy lee hewitt December 26, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Funds raised by the N.A.F. will go a long way toward re-establishing a firm foundation for the youth and the families of Newtown… helping them to maintain a positive vision for their futures and their children’s futures. ~ The following is a Press Release from the N.A.F. that includes more information on their mission, strategy and leadership. Please take a moment to visit the website and to share this! December 18, 2012 NEWTOWN, CT – Residents and former residents of Newtown, CT have announced the formation of the Newtown Alumni Fund to provide relief for the families and others affected by the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Donations will be administered and distributed through the Newtown Rotary Club, working in concert with the Newtown Savings Bank, with no administrative costs or fees. 100% of donations will go directly to the community affected by this incident. Checks should be payable to Newtown Rotary Club, Sandy Hook School Fund, with “Newtown Alumni Fund” marked in the memo section. Mail checks to: Newtown Alumni Fund PO Box 3217 Newtown, CT, 06470. The Newtown Rotary Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. More information and additional payment options are available at www.newtownalumnifund.org.
wendy lee hewitt December 26, 2012 at 08:10 PM
To keep informed all those interested in participating in this relief effort and/or following its progress, a preliminary website has been created (newtownalumnifund.org) and Facebook and Twitter pages are being created. ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION The Newtown Alumni Fund (NAF) is a volunteer organization comprised of alumni of the Newtown public school system. Its mission is to serve those affected by the tragedy of December 14th through collaboration with local organizations and community leaders. Distribution of funds will be determined by the Newtown Rotary Club in partnership with the members of the NAF Group and community leaders, based on community needs. The NAF Group recognizes that this tragedy will impact Newtown long after the media has left and the nation’s focus has moved on. The NAF Group is committed to helping the community for the long haul, to lessen the suffering, promote healing, and return Newtown to a bucolic, family-oriented, quintessential New England town. CONTACT To learn more about the Newtown Alumni Fund, please contact: Stephen Ross, Ross Public Affairs Group, at 908-507-7335 or info@newtownalumnifund.org.
James Husvar December 26, 2012 at 08:55 PM
May I suggest three possible "targets" for the use of these funds- First, cover all funeral and related costs incurred by the 26 families as a result of this unexpected and tragic event. Second, set aside an amount to be determined towards the establishment of a permanent town memorial to the 26 and their families. Third, the balance to be set aside for whatever costs arise from a future decision regarding the continued use/reconfiguration or the replacement of the current Sandy Hook School building. Respectfully, Jim Husvar Sandy Hook
wendy lee hewitt December 26, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Those are wonderful suggestions James!
Sam Mihailoff December 26, 2012 at 09:23 PM
* Some of the families need good old cash right this minute NOW...I have been doing my bit on a personal basis, but some were hurting financially before this happened...HELP THEM RIGHT NOW!!!!
wendy lee hewitt December 26, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Sam - If you are able to contact Newtown Rotary Club and provide them with some information/suggestions, I'm confident that they will help the people you say are in need. That is their goal and purpose. An event of this magnitude can only serve to have an even harder impact on people already hurting. Please also visit the newtownalumnifund.org and leave them a message, if you are not able to reach someone at the Rotary Club. Newtown Rotary contact website: http://www.newtownctrotary.org/ContactUs.cfm
wendy lee hewitt December 26, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Opps! Here's the link for NAF: http://www.NewtownAlumniFund.org
Geraldine Carley December 26, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Besides the obvious concern for the families, teachers and first responders it is my understanding that the businesses in Sandy Hook were negatively impacted by this horrific tragedy and may have suffered losses they may not be able to recover from. If there is way to determine the extent of their financial distress and relieve them through some of the funds raised it would show town solidarity. Also, it would be wonderful if we could all patronize these businesses as much as possible.
SamTwo December 31, 2012 at 02:44 PM
I would NOT give out anyone good ol' hard cash (as Sam suggests). James has a much better grasp on how the funds should be disbursed.
Elena January 08, 2013 at 04:30 PM
I think James has a great idea for how the funds could be used, but I also think Sam is right that each victim's family should be gifted money for costs that are unknown to us (missed days work, for example). I appreciate SamTwo being concerned about dispensing cash, but there are costs that there are no receipts for that these families need help with. Still praying for Sandy Hook and Newtown.

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