Newtown parents start relief fund for victims’ families

A group of Newtown parents whose children survived the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School have created a relief fund to provide support to the 26 families who lost loved ones.

The “My Sandy Hook Family Fund” can be found here.

“This is a neighbor to neighbor effort,” said Rebekah Harriman-Stites, one of the Family Fund organizers, in a news release. “We know all these families personally. Our kids play together. They’re on sports teams together. We go to church together. And everyone is asking: How can we help?

“The Fund allows everyone with a burning need to “do something” to help take some of the burdens off of these families in their time of incredible pain. This is one way we can direct resources in a meaningful way,” Harriman-Stites said.

All net proceeds will go to support the victims’ families.

The fund had raised more than $17,000 by early Monday morning. It was launched Sunday afternoon.

The fund was started after the board of the Newtown Youth Wrestling Association, of which Jack Pinto, a 6-year-old victim, was a member, met on Saturday wanting to help Jack’s family. When they realized they knew other victims, they decided to try and help all of them.

The fund’s founders delivered warm meals to families and then later decided the best way to help is to raise money.

Organizers of the fund are also working to provide airline and hotel accomodations for distant family members to attend funerals and have developed a network of community-based social workers who will work with families.

Donations can be made at the fund’s website.

Tom Cleary