The Sandy Hook School Shooting: How You Can Help

In the wake of the devastating Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and six adults dead, many are looking for ways to help the families involved who are now facing so much grief and loss. Donations, from $25,000 from the New England Patriots' Kraft family to a toy drive held by students and teachers in Omaha, Neb., have been pouring in since news of the tragedy surfaced,but there are many ways you can make a difference. If you're interested in helping, here's how:   

MAKE A DONATION

United Way of Western Connecticut:
Donate to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, a partnership with the Newtown Savings Bank. Checks may be sent to the fund care of Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main St., Newtown, CT 06470 or donations may be made online.  

Newtown Youth & Family Services:
Donations to the Newtown Youth and Family Services/Caroline's Gift may be sent via the organization's Caroline's Gift fund, 15 Berkshire Road, Sandy Hook CT 06482 or call 203-426-8103. Those willing to donate goods and services should call 800-203-1234 to coordinate with the American Red Cross.  

Newtown Parent Connection: The grassroots organization created to address substance abuse among young people is accepting Paypal and credit card donations, with all donations going "to those directly affected by the shooting," according to its website. Call 203-270-1600 for more information.  

Newtown Memorial Fund: The group is accepting donations through its website and has created a Facebook page to memorialize the victims and provide support and information.

Sandy Hook Elementary School Fund
:
 Visit the site to donated to this fund created on Crowdtilt, an online fundraising site. 

OneRepublic for Sandy Hook, CT School Shooting Victims: The music group's campaign to raise money for the families already reached their goal of $50,000 (it kicked in the first $20,000) through an online campaign. Visit indiegogo.com for information. 

SIGN A PETITION 

Writing for the Huffington Post, Lisa Belkin noted that gun control is a parenting issue. "We have to demand that our country earn the right to call itself a civilized nation," she wrote. "We need to do this because our central job as parents -- maybe our only job, really -- is to keep our children safe so they can grow up. Easy access to guns keeps us from doing that job." If you agree, there are many online petitions calling on the government to take action. Political site The Hill reports that one petition calling on the Obama administration to limit gun access has already surpassed the 25,000 signatures required to garner an official reaction from the White House. As of press time, the petition had more than 125,000 signatures.

DONATE YOUR TIME
The West Hartford News reports the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection is asking those who want to volunteer their help to call 800-203-1234.

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