Feeling the overwhelming need to take action to help their friends and neighbors, a group of Newtown parents has formed the My Sandy Hook Family Fund (www.MySandyHookFamilyFund.com). This group is made up of the parents of the children who survived. They are the classmates, friends, coaches and neighbors of the victims of Friday’s massacre.
The goal of the Family Fund is to provide immediate and continuing support to the 26 families who lost children and family members in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. All net proceeds donated will go to support the families of the victims.
The Fund was announced and the site was launched on Sunday, December 16. By Monday morning, over $21,000 had been raised.
The Fund is hoping to raise $2 million.
“This is a neighbor-to-neighbor effort,” explained Rebekah Harriman-Stites, one of the Family Fund organizers. “We know all these families personally. Our kids play together. They’re on sports teams together. We go to church together. And everyone is asking: How can we help?
“The Fund allows everyone with a burning need to ‘do something’ to help take some of the burdens off of these families in their time of incredible pain. This is one way we can direct resources in a meaningful way,” she continued.
The My Sandy Hook Family Fund is a grassroots response to the loss of Jack Pinto, a 6-year-old wrester in Newtown Youth Wrestling Association. When the NYWA board met on Saturday, they wanted to find ways to help Jack’s family. It soon became apparent that Jack was not the only child they knew. They decided to leverage their individual networks and resources to try to help all the victims’ families.
On Saturday night they mobilized to cook and deliver warm meals to the families and quickly realized their efforts needed to be augmented to have a broader and sustained impact. By Sunday morning the conversation continued and the decision to create the fund was made.
In addition to creating My Sandy Hook Family Fund, the organizers are working to provide airline and hotel accommodations for distant family members to attend the funerals. They also have developed a network of community-based social workers who will work directly with the families to determine their specific needs. Based on this information, additional donations and resources will be sought.
To make a donation, visit MySandyHookFamilyFund.com.
NOTE: Donations are being processed through EverRibbon, which charges four percent plus thirty cents per donation. This fee covers credit card processing. One hundred percent of the net proceeds will be donated to the victims’ families.