On December 15, members of the Colorado Springs rock band OneRepublic took to the web, so touched by the tragedy that occurred in Newtown one day earlier, that they wanted to do something about it. Beginning with their own $20,000 donation, the band continued to raise funds and recently delivered a check to the town for $100,000.
A video posted on the band’s fundraising website now indicates OneRepublic has increased its original goal to $250,000 in order to provide direct donations to the victims’ families. The first $100,000 has been received by Town Finance Director Robert Tait.
That donation is designated by the band to help rebuild Sandy Hook School, or to be used for a new facility if the town decides to build a new facility. The band utilized the fundraising website IndieGogo.com
OneRepublic, which recently released its third album Native, is known for its charting 2009 single “All the Right Moves.” Three years earlier, the five-piece ensemble made radio history when its first single, “Apologize,” received an unprecedented 10,331 plays in one week.
In a radio interview December 19, front man Ryan Tedder said the band was preparing for a concert in San Francisco when they heard the news about the tragic incident.
“I was filled with anger, but I can’t direct it at anything or anybody,” Mr Tedder said on radio station Z-100. While the band set an initial goal to raise $50,000 in 30 days, that amount was donated in the first 24 hours.
In a series of Twitter.com posts on Monday, April 1, the band tweeted: “Thnks 2 ALL who donated $$ to our Sandy Hook Elementary Victims Fund-doubled the goal of 50k-sent $100k last week 2 help build a new school! We can’t imagine what the families of Newton, Ct have gone thru in the last 3 + months- still haven’t forgotten-hope 2 visit the new school.”
In the December 15 YouTube appeal, Mr Tedder said, “After tragedies like this there are all kinds of things people can do, prayers, concerts, charities…there’s all these things that could take place over the last few months that might not come to pass.
“The one thing we can do immediately is donate money to these families.”
Mr Tedder said the families immediately affected will need to grieve and many will be unable to go to work while they process what has happened.
“The last thing any of them should be worrying about is money,” he said.
Since the campaign was launched, the focus of the donations apparently shifted to designating funds for the school facility.
The town is in the process of determining how it will proceed with the existing facility, which has been vacant since the shooting. Sandy Hook School was reestablished in neighboring Monroe in January in that community’s vacant Chalk Hill School building.
As news of the incident reached the band, Mr Tedder and his bandmates quickly realized that there would be no immediate prosecution of persons for the senseless crime because the shooter took his own life after killing 20 first graders, six school staff members, and his mother in a separate shooting at the home they shared a few miles from the school.
“After a year of watching tragedy after senseless tragedy happen in this country,” notes Mr Tedder, “the Sandy Hook shooting feels like final straw, and compelled us to react immediately.”
The updated giving campaign he talks about in the video has not yet been posted.