The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, Inc. (The Foundation) was formed in response to the tragedy of 12/14/12 in Sandy Hook, CT. The role and responsibilities of the foundation include oversight of distribution for the money raised by the Sandy Hook School Support Fund (the Fund).
This Fund distributed $7.7 million to those families most impacted by the tragedy. For further information on this distribution, click here.
The remaining funds, approximately $4.3 million as of October 31, 2013, will be used to support both the short and long term needs of the community as it relates to the tragedy of 12/14.
Any donations received since the initial distribution will go towards supporting unmet needs in the community. This support may assist those who received a financial gift in the first distribution, but also will extend to the children who survived in the school, their families, the teachers and school staff, first responders, and others directly impacted by the tragic shooting.
THE SANDY HOOK SCHOOL SUPPORT FUND (SHSSF)
Immediately following the tragedy on 12/14, The Sandy Hook School Support Fund (SHSSF) was created by United Way of Western CT and the Newtown Savings Bank. The fund was established to receive undesignated financial donations, with the intent that the money raised would support families impacted by the tragedy, first responders, teachers, and the Newtown community in both the short and long-term. No fees or expenses have ever been taken for the administration of the SHSSF by United Way or Newtown Savings Bank.
The Foundation was formed at the request of United Way of Western Connecticut and Newtown Savings Bank, to receive the Sandy Hook School Support Fund (SHSS) dollars. The United Way preferred a locally controlled and separate organization be responsible for how the monies ultimately would be distributed.
A Transition Team of community members created the organizational documents for the Foundation after consulting with national experts and conducting research on what other communities faced following mass tragedies.
The Foundation will oversee the distribution of financial assistance to those affected by the tragedy, be it individuals or groups, or the community itself. It will do so by establishing and reviewing the work of distribution committees. The SHSS Fund is the first fund under the Foundation’s authority. Other funds may come under the foundation’s umbrella over time.
The original intent of the Foundation was to create one distribution committee that would determine the needs of the community. Following meetings that solicited input from representatives of the various affected groups (families who have lost someone, families of survivors, first responders, teachers, etc.), it was decided that direct compensation/disbursement to the most impacted families would be a separate process from distribution of funds intended to help the broader community.
TWO DISTRIBUTION PROCESSES FOR SANDY HOOK SCHOOL SUPPORT FUND
1. A distribution committee was formed to determine the allocation of $7.7 million to the 40 most impacted families of the tragedy. Members of the committee were: Judge Alan Nevas (chair), Dr. John Woodall, and Joe Smialowski. Ken Feinberg, a victim compensation master with a national reputation, advised the committee and assisted in the actual claims/distribution process. This distribution was originally scheduled to be completed in May, but was temporarily paused while meetings were held at the request of the CT Attorney General George Jepsen. It resumed on July 11 & 12 with private and public forums. Distributions were made in August.
2. A second distribution committee was named on November 5, 2013 and includes representation of those most impacted (families, school staff, first responders, residents). Several tasks will be set forth for this second committee. It must get public input from the community on what the needs are, they must review existing resources so as to avoid duplication or gaps in service, and determine the actual distribution process and timeline.
FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Joseph DiCandido, CEO of Nutek and former Legislative Council member
- Dr. Charles Herrick, Chair, Department of Psychiatry at Danbury Hospital
- Anne Ragusa, Attorney
- Benjamin B. Spragg, former Newtown Finance Director
- Monsignor Robert Weiss, Pastor, St. Rose of Lima Church
In addition, there are three nonvoting, ex officio Directors: Kim Morgan, CEO of United Way of Western Connecticut, John F. Trentacosta, President & CEO of Newtown Savings Bank, and Will Rodgers, Newtown Selectman and local attorney.
For further information, you may contact the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.