Santa Claus came to Newtown, Connecticut, on Sunday, February 24, 2013.
On that day, an event called “Community Giveaway” took place at Newtown’s Reed Intermediate School, where thousands of town residents came to pick-and-choose from among the thousands upon thousands of gifts donated by generous people from across America and the world. They had felt sorry for the town because of the massacre of 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School the previous Dec. 14th.
From noon to 3 pm, Sandy Hook School students and their families, as well as the school’s staffers, browsed through the gifts and took the ones they wanted. From 3 to 6 pm, the event broadened its scope to allow other Newtown families to browse and select gifts.
The thousands of gifts in the Community Giveaway were only a fraction of the donations received by Sandy Hook victims’ funds. Some of the funds are private, such as the Emilie Parker Fund on Facebook created a day after the massacre, which do not make public how much money they’ve received. (Go here and here for some fundraising or memorial sites that have a creation date before the massacre.)
But other Sandy Hook victims’ funds do make public the total amount of monetary donations they’ve received. Those donations are in MILLIONS of dollars. Below is a list of the total amounts received by some Sandy Hook victims’ funds. These are only the funds I was able to find:
- More than $1,000 was raised “in just over 3 hours” by Newtown High School’s Peer Leadership group for The Sandy Hook School Support Fund. The group did it by enlisting seven NHS faculty members to stand in as servers at Pizza Palace Restaurant on February 12, with the restaurant’s customers — many of them students of the teachers — encouraged to tip generously during the special event.
- $1,620 raised by Cathy Canfield on YouCaring.com, $1000 of which she said would go to the town of Newtown.
- $2,500 raised by Isabel Linzer, a high school student at Yorktown High School in Virginia, who collected donations at her school, in her community, and from businesses.
- $10,000 raised by Andrew Ernest, a senior at Oswego East High School in Oswego, Ill. , for the Newtown Memorial Fund. On February 18, 2013, the teenager traveled to Newtown to deliver in person the $10,000 he had raised over one month through efforts made at his high school. The Newtown Memorial Fund has a Facebook page and a website.
- $200,000 raised by the United Way of Western Connecticut as a fund to be used “for youth programs and for mental health services for those affected by the shootings” on Dec. 14.
- $1 million raised thus far by the Newtown Memorial Fund, “to provide for the immediate and ongoing needs of those affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.”
- $1.3 million raised by the My Sandy Hook Family Fund, started by a group of Newtown parents. According to the Newtown Bee, the $1.3 million “is already being distributed directly to the 26 victims’ families, with each receiving approximately $47,000.” Since the $1.3 million represents only half of the fund’s goal of $2.6 million, when/if the fund reaches its total, that means each Sandy Hook victim family will get $100,000 from just this fund alone.
- $8.5 million raised by the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, as of January 18, 2013.
- $9 million raised by a United Way/Newtown Savings Bank fund, from which a foundation — the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation Inc. — was created to disperse the funds. The Foundation is headed by a panel of local and state leaders who are in charge of reviewing requests for distributions from the fund. The panel includes Monsignor Robert Weiss of Newtown’s St Rose of Lima parish, former Newtown Finance Director Ben Spragg, Danbury Hospital’s chair of psychiatry Dr Charles R. Herrick, Newtown attorney Anne Ragusa, and former finance committee chair of the Legislative Council Joe DeCandido. Meanwhile, the fund will continue to receive donations.
By my count, the above comes to a total of $19,015,120 — over $19 million.
The $19+ million represent just the donations I was able to find, most of them from the Newtown Bee, Newtown’s local newspaper. Curiously, when I click on the URLs for the individual news articles I had retrieved just a few days ago, I now get this message: “Page not found: The requested page could not be found.”
Just one more oddity on top of the many anomalies about the Sandy Hook massacre. (For FOTM’s posts on some of those anomalies, go to our “Sandy Hook Massacre” page.)