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Joanne Fritz

Hearts Broken - How to Help Newtown

By December 17, 2012

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Teddy bears, flowers and candles in memory of those killed in Newtown, CT.

Update: The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported on Tuesday that donations are pouring in to several memorial funds set up for the families of the Sandy Hook victims. More Than $1-Million Raised for Newtown's Survivors.

It's been a very hard week for everyone. The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut on Friday took away our breath and our joy.

My emotions have been both grief and helplessness. But I also experienced a deep need to do something, anything to help.

I found a way to make a donation to help in Newtown. If you are feeling the same way, I've rounded up a few possibilities, and I'm sure there will be many more forthcoming.

Local Nonprofits and Groups

The United Way of Western Connecticut is managing the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

Newtown Memorial Fund - Set up by Brian Mauriello, longtime resident of Newtown, this fund will help families of victims and work to create a memorial.

My Sandy Hook Family Fund - Organized by parents, friends and community members in Newtown to support the 26 families of the victims of the shooting.

Newtown Rotary Sandy Hook School Fund - Organized to support families of victims and other members of the Newtown community.

Newtown Youth and Family Services - Mental health clinic providing services to those affected.

Newtown Parent Connection - Bereavement group counseling, working locally to help.

Specific Victim Memorial Funds

Emilie Parker Memorial Fund

Victoria L. Soto Memorial Fund for Education, via the Adzima Funeral Home

James R. Mattioli Memorial Fund c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main St., Newtown, CT 06470.

Dylan Hockley Memorial Fund, 34 Charter Ridge Road, Sandy Hook, CT, 06482.

Chase Kowalski Scholarship Fund, c/o People's Bank, 470 Monroe Tpke., Monroe, CT 06468.

Campaigns at Crowd Funding Sites

There are many individuals and groups raising funds on several crowd funding platforms.

Examples include the Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims Relief Fund, started by Ryan on Crowdrise; the Sandy Hook Elementary School Fund at CrowdTilt, started by Chris DeLetto of Champaign, IL.; and several campaigns at Razoo. Even the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs are on the scene and raising funds to help the kids in Newtown.

National Organizations

The American Red Cross - has provided food, water and emotional support for affected families.

Save the Children - has opened a child friendly space in a Newtown middle school to give local children a safe place to play and express themselves while their parents seek counseling and support.


This incident has energized gun control advocates. If you are interested in becoming involved, here are some organizations you might consider:

The spotlight is also once again on mental health. Here are some organizations that work on that issue:

Note: Organizations mentioned here are not endorsed by me. Please perform due diligence.

What other Guides at About.com are saying:

Photo: NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 16: Teddy bears, flowers and candles in memory of those killed, are left at a memorial down the street from the Sandy Hook School December 16, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. Spencer Platt/Getty Images News.


December 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm
(1) Gurudatt Kundapurkar says:

Dear Nancy and Joanne, Thanks a million for helping us with tips on how to respond responsibly and meaningfully to a tragedy of such magnitude. Quality of response makes a huge difference to such a cause and you have rightly emphasised on allowing ourself to get over with one’s instant and raw response before taking any action to reach out those affected by this apparently unforgettable, unforgivable crime. The links to the available resources, Joanne, are undoubtedly very useful and in an uncertain state of painful mind, making them handy is a great service from you. = Gurudatt Kundapurkar, Schizophrenia Awareness Association, Pune, India.

December 18, 2012 at 10:53 am
(2) nonprofit says:

Thanks you for your thoughts, Gurudatt.

December 19, 2012 at 8:09 am
(3) Abby says:

Also, along the lines of mental health EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs is hard at work addressing the mental health needs of that community. We have volunteers already providing service in the area and we continue to set up trainings to help parents, clinicians, and teachers with how to provide help to those in need, and to help them themselves. We are a non-profit organization collecting donations for this specific cause, you can find it on our website http://www.emdrhap.org.

December 19, 2012 at 10:34 am
(4) nonprofit says:

Thank you Abby for that resource.

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