IF YOU WANT TO HELP:
The Newtown Bee reports that Newtown town officials and community leaders asked Wednesday that people "temporarily halt any further dispatching of goods to the community, its schools, churches and nonprofit organizations." They said the deluge of donated goods already received — including toys, teddy bears, food, school supplies, blankets, candles and clothes — has overwhelmed the community's ability to receive, process, store and distribute. "They ask that any items already collected be distributed within the areas or communities of origin with Newtown's deepest gratitude, and in memory of those we lost on Dec. 14."
DonorsChoose.org, which was founded in 2000 and has funded more than 328,000 projects proposed by more than 137,000 teachers in more than 46,000 schools around the country, Wednesday launched a new donor site — DonorsChoose.org/Newtown — to support classroom efforts of teachers in Newtown. A coalition of education leaders joined DonorsChoose.org founder Charles Best to announce the effort, including state Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor; Newtown Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson; U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan; Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; Melodie Peters, president of AFT Connecticut; and Tom Kuroski, president of the Newtown Federation of Teachers. Contributions will give Newtown teachers the opportunity to design classroom-specific projects and buy needed supplies. For details, go to http://www.donorschoose.org/newtown.
The Town of Newtown is taking contributions to both its Sandy Hook Special Revenue Fund (donations specified for the benefit of the town to be used for a public purpose, such as schools, police, parks, playgrounds and memorials) and the Sandy Hook Private Purpose Trust Fund, which will benefit individuals or private organizations, including scholarships.
Newtown Social Services is starting a fund for the first responders at Sandy Hook. Checks should be made out to the Town of Newtown — be sure to write "First Responders" in the memo line — and can be mailed or dropped off at the office at 3 Main St., Newtown, CT 06470. Call 203-270-4330.
Newtown's Parks and Recreation Department is taking contributions to the Park Gift Fund in honor and memory of Sandy Hook victims. Go to http://www.newtown-ct.gov and click on Parks & Recreation to give online.
The Sandy Hook School Support Fund: United Way of Western Connecticut and Newtown Savings Bank have joined to establish this fund. Mail donations to Sandy Hook School Support Fund, c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main St., Newtown, CT 06470; drop off at any Newtown Savings Bank branch location; or contribute online at https://newtown.uwwesternct.org/ or at http://www.uwwesternct.org. For details, call United Way of Western Connecticut at 203-792-5330.
The Hartford Police Department Credit Union has set up a bank account for donations to the victims of the Newtown shooting. Donations may be sent to: Newtown Victim Relief Fund, c/o the Hartford Police Department Federal Credit Union, 50 Jennings Road, Hartford, CT 06120.
HONORING THE VICTIMS
DonorsChoose.org has launched a new donor site to honor the six educators who lost their lives. Contributions to DonorsChoose.org/Newtown will be used to support classroom efforts of all teachers in Newtown. Go to http://www.donorschoose.org/newtown.
The University of Connecticut has established a memorial scholarship fund honoring the victims of the Newtown school killings. The Sandy Hook School Memorial Scholarship Fund will provide financial aid at UConn for any students who currently attend the elementary school, as well as siblings of those killed in the assault and dependents of the teachers and other adults who also lost their lives. All money will be spent on scholarships; none on administrative costs. If funds remain once the needs have been met, the fund will be used to benefit any future student from Newtown who attends UConn. To donate, go to http://www.friends.uconn.edu/sandyhook.
Danbury High School has established a scholarship in memory of alumna Lauren Rousseau, one of the teachers who died at Sandy Hook. Send donations to the Lauren Rousseau Memorial Scholarship, Danbury High School, 43 Clapboard Road, Danbury, CT 06811.
Eastern Connecticut State University has established the Victoria Leigh Soto Memorial Endowment Scholarship Fund to support students studying to teachers and who have unmet financial need. Checks should be made payable to the ECSU Foundation Inc. and mailed to Victoria Soto Memorial Endowed Scholarship, Eastern Connecticut State University, 83 Windham St., Willimantic, CT 06226, Attn. Kenneth J. DeLisa. Or donate online at http://www.easternct.edu/advancement/victoria_soto.html.
Donations to the Victoria L. Soto Memorial Fund for Education may be made c/o Adzima Funeral Home, 50 Paradise Green Place, Stratford, CT 06614.
Donations in honor of special education intern Rachel D'Avino may be made to Autism Speaks, 1 East 33rd St., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10016.
Contributions in memory of school psychologist Mary Sherlack may be made to Fairfield County Community Foundation's Fund for Health and Wellness, 385 Main Ave., Norwalk, CT 06851, to continue her work with children and mental health
Donations to the Dylan Hockley Memorial Fund may be sent to 34 Charter Ridge Road, Sandy Hook, CT 06482.
Funds in honor of Ana Grace Marquez-Greene have been established at the Outpatient Clinic/Family Therapy Institute, Klingberg Family Centers, 370 Linwood St., New Britain, CT 06052; The Artist's Collective, 1200 Albany Ave., Hartford, CT 06112; and the Ana Grace Marquez-Greene Scholarship Fund, c/o Western Connecticut State University, Office of Institutional Advancement, 181 White St., Danbury, CT 06810 or http://www.wcsu.edu/ia/greene-scholarship.asp. Friends also have established the Ana Grace Fund at http://www.AnaGraceFund.com for the Marquez-Greene family.
Donations in memory of Catherine V. Hubbard may be sent to Newtown Animal Center, P.O. Box 475, Newtown, CT 06470.
Donations to the Chase Kowalski Scholarship Fund may be sent c/o People's Bank, 470 Monroe Turnpike, Monroe 06468.
Congregation Adath Israel in Newtown has established a fund in honor of Noah Pozner. Send donations payable to Congregation Adath Israel, with "For The Family of Noah Pozner" on the memo line, P.O. Box 623, Newtown, CT 06470.
Family funds also have been established in memory of Olivia Rose Engel, the Friends of the Engel Family Fund, on Facebook, and the Emilie Parker Memorial Fund (at America First Credit Union in Utah), on Facebook.
COUNSELING AND COPING:
The 211 InfoLine administered by United Way of Connecticut is a suicide and crisis line with links to all adult and child crisis units. It also provides information and referrals, including on mental health and grief counseling. Call 211 or 1-800-203-1234, or go to 211ct.org.
The state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) at http://www.ct.gov/dmhas has a 24-hour crisis link to service providers town by town. However, spokesman James Siemianowski recommends that people call 211 first for information on mental health issues and crisis care. "That's the primary place to call."
The Crisis Support Phone Line is staffed by Yale-New Haven Hospital professionals. Call 203-270-4283.
SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, offers numerous online resources on talking with children, coping with grief, coping with traumatic stress. Go to http://www.samhsa.gov/trauma. It also operates the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.
Connecticut Clearinghouse (a collaboration of the Wheeler Clinic, DMHAS and the state Department of Children and Families) has a directory of mental health services throughout the state, searchable by community, age, and the type of services needed. It also offers youth suicide prevention services and Web resources on topics such as parenting and stress. Go to www/ctclearinghouse.org and click on Resources.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).
DMHAS also sponsors the Network of Care website at connecticut.networkofcare.org/mh/ with links to a broad variety of topics, including "Helping Children Deal With Tragedies: In Response to Connecticut School Shooting," with information on what parents should talk about with children, behavioral signs to watch for in children, and other resources.
The Danbury office of the Western Connecticut Mental Health Network (part of DMHAS) provides mental health services in Greater Danbury. The office is at 78 Triangle St., Building I-4, Danbury. Call 203-448-3200.
Family and Children's Aid in Danbury is working on crisis response in conjunction with Danbury Hospital Behavioral Health. Through its Child Guidance Clinic, Family and Children's Aid offers child psychiatric services and in-home therapy. Call 203-748-5689 or go to http://www.fcaweb.org.
Wellmore Behavioral Health, based in Waterbury and with offices in Danbury and elsewhere. Crisis services, referrals and grief counseling to any families affected by the shootings. Call 203-574-9000 or go to wellmore.org. For Child & Adolescent Services, call 203-756-7287 or 1-855-WELLMORE. For Adult Services, call 203-755-1143.
Newtown Youth & Family Services, 15 Berkshire Road, Sandy Hook, offers emergency counseling for Newtown families, community members and staff involved in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. No appointment necessary. Call 203-270-4335 or go to http://www.newtownyouthandfamilyservices.org.
Connecticut Commission on Children has information on how to talk with children after a major crisis; other resources for parents and educators and links for immediate help. Call 860-240-0290 or go to http://www.cga.ct.gov/coc/newtown.htm.
KidsMentalHealthInfo.com, developed by the Connecticut Center for Effective Practice and Child Health and Development Institute, offers resources for parents, teachers and caregivers.
NAMI Connecticut, state affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, offers detailed information on reactions to traumatic experiences, a list of family support groups around the state and advocacy for people with mental illness. Go to http://www.namict.org.
The National Association of School Psychologists has tips for teachers and parents following school and community violence; helping children cope with crisis; talking to children about violence (in numerous languages) and more. Go to http://www.nasponline.org.
The U.S. Department of Education has compiled a collection of resources on helping children cope with the tragedy, including how to talk with children about the school shooting, helping youth and children recover from traumatic events, tips for parents and children on talking to children about violence, resources for parents and more. Go to http://www.capenet.org/new.html.
The Connecticut chapter of the American Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/find-help/disaster-recovery/recovering-emotionally offers resources in a variety of languages on taking care of yourself emotionally and on helping children cope with disaster.
Give An Hour, a national nonprofit organization that provides free mental health services to members of the military, Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and their families, is offering free mental health services to anyone, including young children, affected by the tragedy. The organization has hundreds of licensed mental health professionals in the state. Other mental health professionals interested in participating should go to http://www.giveanhour.org. Those seeking help should visit http://www.giveanhour.org and click on "Visitors" to find a local provider.
Mental Health Association of Connecticut at 61 Main St. in West Hartford provides crisis information and helps people find a mental health professional if needed. Call 1-800-842-1501 or 860-529-1970 or go to http://www.mhact.org.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut is making its Employee Assistance Program (EAP) resources available to people who need help coping with the Newtown shootings. Resources include telephone-based counseling, online resources focused on dealing with grief and help finding needed services. Call 1-877-208-8240 or go to http://www.anthemeap.com, and use the login name "Newtown."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun