A Gift of Remembrance for Newtown Victims
by Joel Carson
It hurts to watch the news these days. The parade of tiny caskets is more than I can bear. My heart goes out to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the Newtown, Conn. shooting on Dec. 14. It almost seems like a cliché; but, my message is heartfelt and if you’re feeling helpless too, there is something you can do.
Utah is traditionally a volunteer state of epic proportions. When tragedy strikes those who call Utah home rally together to offer comfort and assistance in any way they can. Perhaps this act of violence hurts most at its core in Newtown. I hope I never know. However, the sense of sadness, confusion and loss are surely felt in every state in the nation.
The Christmas season is the perfect time to dig deep into your pockets and share with those who need your help. Perhaps it isn’t money that these families need, but the knowledge that a nation stands behind them in their brutal grief.
Following is a list of victims who died on Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Please take a moment to read their names and make an effort to remember them. Below the list is the most current information available to donate to the causes victims’ families deemed most appropriate to commemorate these lives cut short.
The shooter, Adam Lanza, also died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Lanza also shot his mother, Nancy Lanza, to death in the nearby home they shared before heading to the school, according to investigators.
Take Action, You Really Can Help
The feeling of helplessness in a situation like this is very common – whether an individual is next door or across the country.
We applaud the efforts of ScarsdalePatch and USA Today to share information about memorial funds established by friends and family members of the victims. Following is a list of ways you can support those who are suffering most deeply from loss today (we will do our best to update the list as more information becomes available):
Those who wish to volunteer in Newtown as it recovers from the shootings can call (800) 203-1234, according to the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
The United Way has started the Sandy Hook School Support Fund to provide help with funeral expenses, counseling and other services. Donations: Sandy Hook School Support Fund, c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main St., Newtown, Conn. 06470. More information: https://newtown.uwwesternct.org.
The Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims Relief Fund has raised more than $73,750. The school PTA will administer the fund, which will provide counseling to survivors, pay for funeral expenses for victims, create a scholarship fund for the school's students and fund a memorial. Donations: Newtown Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 596, Botsford, Conn. 06404 or http://newtownmemorialfund.org.
In lieu of flowers for Daniel Barden, 7, donations may be made in Daniel's name to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470, or checks may be dropped off at any Newtown Savings Bank branch location. To donate online, go to https://newtown.uwwesternct.org.
An online memorial page to honor Rachel D'Avino was established at the University of Saint Joseph, Conn. visit the site at http://www.usj.edu/newtown.html. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to Autism Speaks, 1 East 33rd Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10016.
The family of Olivia Engel, 6, created the Friends of the Engel Family Fund. On its Facebook page, a relative says the fund will be used to help the family financially. The family plans to meet this week to decide how to use the donations for a tribute or effort in Olivia's name that will have a more lasting impact. More information: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfTheEngelFamilyFund.
A charitable fund is being created in honor of Josephine Gay, 7. Information about this fund and her life will be released to the media shortly. Hull Funeral Service, Danbury is handling arrangements. Information and on-line condolences at Hullfuneralservice.com.
Western Connecticut State University has set up a scholarship in honor of Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, 6. Make your secure donation online today http://secure.diamondmindinc.com/wcsu/memorial.php.
The family of Sandy Hook's principal, Dawn Hochsprung, created a memorial fund for the educator, who died trying to stop the gunman. Donations: Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Memorial Fund, CT Teachers Credit Union, P.O. Box 2121, Waterbury, Conn. 06722.
The family of Dylan Hockley, 6, has created the Dylan Hockley Memorial Fund to help children with autism and other special needs. More information: https://www.facebook.com/pages/RIP-Dylan-Hockley-Sandy-Hook-Massacre-Victim/215750598560389. To donate via PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Waterbury, Conn. Teachers’ Federal Credit Union has established an account in the name of Sandy Hook Elementary Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung. To donate to the fund, mail to WCTFCU, 773 Straits Turnpike, Middlebury, CT 06762. or WCTFCU, 24 Rowan Street Extension, Danbury, CT 06811. For additional information, you can speak with a credit union representative at 203-758-9500 or 800-992-2226.
In lieu of flowers for Jesse Lewis please make donations to: Voice for Joanie Inc., 5 Glenwood Rd, New Milford, CT 06776 voiceforjoanie.org.
In lieu of flowers, the family of Grace McDonnell, 7, requests donations to a fund in her name at the Fairfield County Community Foundation. Please checks payable to 'Grace McDonnell Memorial Fund at FCCF' and mail to Fairfield County Community Foundation, 383 Main Ave., Norwalk, CT 06851.
Anne Marie Murphy’s family suggests in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Autism Speaks, 1060 State Rd., 2nd Floor, Princeton, NJ 08540, www.autismspeaks.org. She was a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary.
The family of Emilie Parker, 6, created the Emilie Parker Fund to raise donations to help her parents, Robbie and Alissa, take time off from work to be with their two younger children, and to help with funeral expenses and airfare to the family's home state of Utah, where they will have Emilie's funeral and bury her. More information: https://www.facebook.com/EmilieParkerFund?ref=ts&fref+ts.
The My Sandy Hook Family Fund is a grassroots response to the loss of Jack Pinto, a 6-year-old wrestler in the Newtown Youth Wrestling Association. Read more about donating to the fund at http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/My-Sandy-Hook-Family-Fund-brings-relief-4125138.php#ixzz2FYS0x0UD.
The family of Noah Pozner, 6, created Noah's Ark of Hope Fund to provide counseling, education and basic needs for his four siblings: http://noahsarkofhopefund.eventbrite.com.
Connecticut Alpha Lauren Rousseau was among the victims in Friday’s tragic school shooting. A scholarship has been established at Pi Beta Phi Foundation in Lauren's name. All memorial gifts the Foundation receives in Lauren’s name will be used to support this scholarship. A memorial gift can be made visiting http://www.pibetaphifoundation.org/donate/donate-now or by calling the Foundation’s office at (636) 256-1357.
Memorial contributions in the name of Mary Sherlach, a school psychologist, may be made to the Fairfield County Community Foundation, Fund for Health and Wellness, 383 Main Ave., Norwalk, CT 06851, to continue Sherlach's work with children and mental health.
The family of Victoria Soto, a teacher, has requested in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Victoria L. Soto Memorial Fund for Education, through the Funeral Home. For more information or to make an online condolence please visit www.adzimafuneralhome.com.
A memorial fund eligible for tax deductible donations is available, and another private fund is set up for Allison Wyatt’s (6) sister, Lauren. The family of suggests donations be made to the Allison Wyatt Memorial Fund or, for the private family fund, Ben Wyatt as custodian. All checks can be sent to Steve DeMartino, c/o TransAct Technologies, Inc, One Hamden Center, 2319 Whitney Ave. suite 3B, Hamden CT, 06518.
Hold your children a little tighter tonight and if you can, send a hug to a victim’s family in thanks for the safety of your family today.
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