The board of the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation this week sent a letter to the 26 families of victims explaining that they were about to quietly start a "targeted fundraising effort designed to raise funds for general operating expenses," according to the Hartford Courant.
The foundation was set up after Adam Lanza killed 20 first-graders and six educators inside the Newtown, Connecticut, school. The foundation had planned to continue making grants until 2025 when the youngest children who were at Sandy Hook Elementary School graduate from high school.
There was a public fight over whether the $12.5 million in donations that poured in after the shooting should go solely to the families of the 26 people killed, or include survivors of the shooting.
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Eventually, $7.7 million went to 40 families directly impacted by the massacre, with the bulk of that going to the 26 families. The foundation was formed and the remaining $4.8 million was to be used to provide mental health services to the victims' families, first responders, teachers, and students from the school.
The foundation now has $1.5 million left for the next five years. They had been able to use a federal grant and income from investments to pay operating expenses so far, but the grant is running low.
Foundation Director Lucie Connell wrote in the letter that they have an opportunity to participate in a "matching challenge grant" to anchor a general fundraising operation.
"A successful general operating fundraising effort will ensure that the Foundation is staffed responsibly, allow the Foundation to channel 100 percent of the funds donated to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund to those most impacted by the tragedy and for the Foundation to fulfill the initial sunset plan," according to the letter.
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