How You Can Help Those Affected By Sandy Hook Tragedy

  • Comments (18)
Organizations are taking donations and support for those affected by the shootings in Newtown, Conn. Photo Credit: Julie Curtis

CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS, Mass. - As Newtown, Conn. reels from an unimaginable tragedy, both local and national organizations have established means of donating support to individuals and families affected by the shootings last week that took 26 lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The Sandy Hook School Support Fund, created by the United Way of Western Connecticut, will provide support services to affected families as well as the community at large. Donations will go directly to those affected by the shootings. “Newtown is home," the United Way of Western Connecticut said on its website. "We will stand with the community and everyone affected directly and indirectly by this tragic event as we face the days and weeks ahead."

The United Way of Western Connecticut is also accepting donations in a partnership with Newtown Savings Bank. Check donations can be mailed to: Sandy Hook School Support Fund, c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main St., Newtown CT 06470. You can donate by credit card here.

Newtown Youth and Family Services, a nonprofit mental health clinic, is accepting donations, all of which will benefit those affected. Call 203-426-8103 for more information.

The Newtown Parent Connection is accepting donations on its website. Payments can be made via Paypal or with any major credit card. The organization says “all donations will be donated directly to those affected by the shooting.” Call 203-270-1600 for more details.

Facebook group R.I.P. Sandy Hook Elementary School Children, is encouraging people to wear blue and yellow - the school's colors - on Monday in honor of the victims.

The American Red Cross of Connecticut has set up a family reception center that will provide grief counseling.

My Sandy Hook Family Fund was created by classmates, friends, coaches and neighbors of the victims of the shooting. The goal of this fund is to provide immediate and continuing support to families who lost children and family members in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

In an email, a spokesperson for Hugs for Sandy Hook states that due to the generosity of contributors, the organization is no longer in need of Teddy Bears. Instead, they ask donors to send home made paper snowflakes as part of "Snowflakes for Sandy Hook," a project of the Sandy Hook Elementary Parent-Teacher Association and the Connecticut Parent-Teacher-Student Association. Make and send snowflakes to Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514, by January 12, 2013.

The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection says anyone wishing to volunteer may call 800-203-1234.

If you just want to express your condolences, add your name to the hundreds of thousands who have already done so via an online sympathy card.

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    Comments

Comments (18)

Francis1940:

What are we going to do to protect our kids? What will the town do to make our schools safer?

jimgansett:

To speak up: Again, people are missing the point of what was written. I did not say we shouldn't have laws. The examples of those other laws were there to try to make one see one point and one point only, and judging from the newscasts I have watched and political shows, maybe pols are finally getting the point I was trying to make: Because you can't legislate morality, nor can you truly control the actions of an irrational person or criminal, or careless person, you have to do something much more beyond gun control. You must take a much wider approach. We must tackle the problems of mental illness in this society. We now know that the shooter had mental issues and was afraid his mother was going to commit him. She knew he had problems and did not properly address them. We have to tackle the problem of changing the media (movies, video games, etc.) so that every other hour on tv they see someone raped, murdered, shot, knifed, bludgeoned to death. I spent many years as a classroom teacher, and if anyone tells you kids are not influenced by what they see in tv or movies, they are sadly mistaken. We must find a way to fix our families so that kids aren't raising kids. PARENTS: Take time with your kids, teach them, give them proper discipline. Make them EARN their self respect. Teach them a respect for life.
There is a place for reasonable gun control, and it appears Obama is going to attempt that in his latest press conference today. Most gun owners will probably mistrust him due to his work in Illinois. This is his chance to show he really can make reasonable laws concerning controls while preserving the second amendment. How about if we actually enforce existing laws.
SO, LET ME MAKE IT CLEAR... once again....I am not against reasonable gun control but we'd better tackle our other violence related problems or we are always going to have massacres like the tragedy in Connecticut. That's all the point I was trying to make.
This is my last post, period. evidently my writing style is not up to par if people are not getting the point I was trying to make. You felt insulted because you did not understand the main point of all my posts on this matter. I would never intentionally insult other people but it's clear when emotions run high people are easily insulted. Go back, re-read the posts. As for me, I'm done as this kind of thing can go round and round forever. Thank you for your response.

Speak Up:

Got it and thanks for clarifying. I agree this is a very complex problem that needs attention from multiple angles.
My insulted comment came from you telling maximus to control his/her emotion. Perhaps unintended and/or I miss interpreted your point. Don't give up on talking about it--too important!

jimgansett:

Hi Maximus, Nobody ever said our country was the safest. The reason there are so many gun deaths is the same as the reason for so many auto deaths by drunk driving, texting while driving, driving with suspended licenses, driving while high on drugs, etc. People who ignore good sense and choose to disobey the law. A baseball bat is dangerous if used the wrong way, as is drinking, texting, wjile driving etc. The point is, we continue to blame things while not holding people responsible for their own actions. Of the 30,000 or so you alluded to, about 18%, almost 1 in 5, were suicides. As you probably know, if there were no guns suicidal persons would find another way, as many do. Again, the vast majority of other gun related deaths are attributable to gang violence and criminal elements. All of whom have those firearms illegally. I wonder how you feel about Eric Holder sending thousands of guns illegally to Mexico, resulting in the deaths of many Mexicans traced to those guns and of a U.S. border agent. Nobody ever references the VAST majority of people who own firearms legally and responsibly.
You know, states like MA and CT already have very good gun laws (Unfortunately, not all do). I'm sure by now you have heard that the young shooter attempted to buy a gun or guns and was denied. The law worked as it was supposed to. People fail to see for some reason that the guns he used were stolen from his mother.
In any event, I do respect your opinion, your right to express it, and do hope you retain your emotions.

Speak Up:

Jim--Very insulting reference to emotions when you are doing the same. If we had no laws on the examples you site we would have even more innocent fatalities on our roads. No one law or set of laws is going to fix this issue, but reasonalbe improvements to assault weapon laws could be made to deter future events while protecting our constitution. How do we not try?

maximus:

The type of assault rifles under discussion are deadlier, faster, more lethal, than other methods. The weapons used at Sandy Nook killed 26 people in about 20 minutes. They should be banned. No civilian needs that kind of killing machine. I don't care whether they have been purchased legally or illegally, for suicide, homicide, hunting or protection. I don't care how he got them.

We can study other aspects of these mass killings but right now, as we bury these children and their caretakers a week before Christmas, while it's raw and painful and outrageous, let's agree to get rid of these lethal weapons and enact other sensible gun control measures.

jimgansett:

Hi John B,
Make sure you read my 2nd post. If you do, you will find that I am not against banning high capacity magazines. Agree with you there.
Oh, as for Bambi, I always get a kick out of when someone equates Bambi with big, bad hunters. It's the assigning of human emotions to wildlife. I am not a hunter, have no interest in hunting..... without getting into the wildlife management of deer, I see nothing wring with hunting deer as long as the meat is taken and consumed. No different than buying a steak at your local market. Some animal died so you could eat. Somebody killed it. Can't get around it. Deer...cow...buffalo. Makes no difference People say big bad hunters give deer no chance. They have a much better chance against a hunter in the woods than corralled in a pen and slaughtered. Sorry...I digress.

jimgansett:

The point is still being missed. It's not a matter of "punishment" per se, the classroom "punishment" is only meant as an example as how ineffective methods fail to produce what is wanted and actually makes things worse. In this country there are about 320 million people or so. There are an estimated 280 million firearms. If you check your facts, you will find that individual gun violence has declined even as firearm ownership has increased. Seems to be a paradox, doesn't it? I do understand your logic, really. And in an ideal world, it would be effective. But if you think banning anything will stop it, all you need to do is look at American society. You cannot legislate morality, you cannot absolutely control the actions of an individual. Look at all things already against the law: murder is illegal, still happens, theft is illegal, still happens, speeding is illegal, still happens, narcotic drugs are illegal, still being used, and besides being banned, widely available! And if you further check, you will find that the highest level of gun violence occurs in the areas where gun laws are strictest. Although you might think not from my posts, I have no problem with common sense and fair legislation concerning firearms. I support background checks, absolutely. A ten round magazine limit, absolutely. Again, my problem is this and I stand by it: Until and unless we start to fix our society, e.g. strong family units with good morality, opportunities for everyone to achieve a full and satisfying life, a real chance at the American dream, being able to run for office without millions of dollars, it will only get worse. Add to that the divide between those that have (rich) and those that have not (poor) growing ever bigger, makes the problem worse. Maximus, I DO appreciate your comments. They come from the heart. As a parent my heart DOES go out to those who lost their children. But getting past the emotion, logic tells me that unless we take steps to fix our society in general, things will not get better.

maximus:

Murder, theft, speeding do still happen but that doesn't mean we don't try to stop them.

With guns we stopped trying. We can't fix all that is wrong with society overnight. We can make background checks mandatory overnight, though. We can ban high capacity assault rifles overnight. All it takes is the American people demanding that their representatives be responsible to us rather than to the leadership of the NRA. Even many NRA members agree we need reasonable gun control. The freedom to own any and every sort of weapon does not trump the freedom of a 6-year old to remain alive in her classroom.

If the country with the most guns is the safest, why do we have over 30,000 gun related deaths a year while Britain had about 50 last year?

I can be logical and emotional at the same time. I hope I never get past the emotion.

John B:

You were saying about something about the highest levels of gun violence occurs where the gun laws are strictest.
3 seconds is how long it took me to find a comparison of murder rates of 100,00 people.
In 2011 Louisiana had the highest murder rate, the Mississippi, and New Mexico. Lots of guns there.

Lowest states. Hawaii, New Hampshire and Vt.

Your comparison is false.

What would you have society do? Throw up it hands and say #@%! We can not fix it so we wont do anything!

What polices would you have in place to create these things of strong family, while at the same time you say one can not restrict the individual?

John B:

What part of the Second Amendment provides for gun ownership under the auspices of defense against fellow citizens? Well-regulated militias don't shoot trespassers; trespassers and would-be criminals are threats to individual property rather than "the security of a free state." Once we acknowledge this, we can move the gun debate past the text of the Second Amendment and into the terrain that the Founders, with their malleable Constitution, entended: that of public policy. THEN we can decide what kinds of weapons--if any--make sense for a free society, and honestly weigh the costs of dead schoolchildren against personal protection when considering where the real threat to the security of a free state lies.

maximus:

How is anyone being "punished"? The inconvenience of background checks? The inability to buy an assault weapon that fires multiple rounds in a flash? No one needs that kind of militarized weapon to hunt or for self-protection.

Every one of the children in that massacre suffered multiple wounds. One little boy was shot eleven times. A young man who was undoubtedly severely mentally ill had access to an arsenal of weaponry and ammunition that could cause maximum casualties in a sickeningly short period of time. We may not be able to stop every episode like this but surely we owe it to our children to make such horrific incidents less likely to occur and with less damage.

We're not helpless. There may be societal issues involved, prominently, our public neglect of mental health, but the extent of the fatalities in Newtown occurred because of a weapon that could fire that fast, that lethally, that instantly.

Why do we tolerate this? We're not helpless. Tell your representatives they will be held accountable if they don't vote for sane gun control measures.

jimgansett:

When are you people going to understand the following: There is no way that you can stop a person, mentally deranged or not who is hell bent on destroying peoples lives en mass. These kinds of events are symptoms of societal problems, just to name a few: breakdown in morality, bullying of students, media hitting kids with violence via movies and tv, breakdown of the American family unit, kids raising themselves, financial distress. Ban everything you want, guns, knives, clubs, drugs. Prohibition didn't work, banning drugs didn't work, and banning possession of firearms won't either. As banning drugs has created an extremely lucrative market for them, so will it be for banning firearms. So wake up, people, and get your politicians to do something really meaningful. Fix our society, make it once again where everyone can feel they have a shot at the American dream, where you don't need millions of dollars to run for office, where everyone can have a decent home and home life and the violence in society will take care of itself for the most part. Now that I think of it, gun control, drug control, etc. is like a classroom teacher of 28 good kids and 2 trouble makers. He/she can't control the trouble makers and so punishes the whole class. It never works in the classroom and will never work in society.

John B:

A crazy guy in china attacked a school. He stabbed 11 people. Since he had a knife the victims lived.

Does any one need a high capacity gun? If one can't shoot bambi with 4 rounds one should not be in the woods.

P.S. I used to sell guns.

John B:

Another Day, More Deaths: Two Police Officers Shot And Killed In Kansas... 3-Year-Old Accidentally Shoots Himself, Dies... Gunman At Large After Shooting Victim 4 Times... Man Shoots Wife, Keeps Cops In Standoff For Hours... One Person Shot In San Antonio, Gunman Later Shot By Cops... Woman Shot At Campground... Woman Shot To Death, Son 'Thought She Was Sleeping'

NRA. GUNS KEEP US SAFE.
If they did, why are their still break in in Texas?

We take off our shoes at the airport because Richard Reed FAILED in his attempt to blow up an airliner.
How many more children do we have to bury before change happens?

John B:

From the 2008 DC v. Heller ruling, written by Scalia, and one of the very few Supreme Court cases to touch on the Second Amendment at all:

"Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."

Remember: Written by Scalia, i.e., not one of those liberal judicial activists you hear so much about, but by the deeply conservative judge.
There is no constitutional bar to some limitation and regulation of firearms. The real question — the only real question, to my mind — is whether there is the political will for it.

Used Teddy Bears? What will happen to them?
Send $ to the Red Cross. Hurricane Sandy people still needs help.

cszkutak:

The Connecticut State Grange is also collection donations. You can find out more on their website. ( http://www.ctstategrange.org/showarticle.asp?id=4084 )

maximus:

By all means donate, send condolences and teddy bears. Every gesture of support will undoubtedly be deeply appreciated.

Please also write and call your representatives in Congress and demand that they pass common sense gun control measures such as mandatory background checks and the banning of assault weapons. No one outside the military and law enforcement needs to own weapons this lethal. Ask your legislators also to provide funding to address mental health issues. Easy access to weapons that can slaughter a classroom full of tiny children in minutes plus our societal neglect of mental health are a deadly brew.

I hope no one will say that the answer is to arm the teachers. We need a safer environment, not more weapons.

Please take action. We must try.

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