Newtown Lions Ask for Your Support
I am the President of the Newtown Lions Club and am asking for your help. As you know, Newtown just experienced one of the worst school shootings in the history of this country. Many in our community are still in shock. Like many of our neighbors, we are trying to rebuild the community as it was before this senseless tragedy. Although we are working on immediate needs, the experience of other communities such as Columbine Colorado, the site of the 1999 shooting, showed that the psychological effects of these events last for a very long time. The survivors, their families and the first responders experience a trauma that can require therapy and counseling for decades. We have established a special fund to help pay for those services.
There were 12 surviving children in the classrooms who actually saw the shootings of their teachers and classmates. There were about 600 children in the school at the time. All of them will need ongoing counseling. There were also more than 100 first responders at the scene immediately after the shooting. Most were Newtown policemen, firemen and EMTs but assistance was also provided by the Connecticut state police and first responders from neighboring towns. These men and women had the horrible task of identifying and removing the victims and investigating the crime scene. They too will bear the scars of that day for many years.
The Newtown Lions Club Foundation is working with the Connecticut Counseling Association (CCA) to ensure that all first responders, children, family members, and staff from Sandy Hook Elementary School can get counseling with no out of pocket expenses. Our intention is to provide reimbursement for:
- Counseling fees not covered by health insurance
- Counseling fees for uninsured individuals
CCA is sharing their resources and expertise with us. CCA has reached out to all of their Connecticut members as well as their national organization. A list has been developed of licensed therapists in the area that have been trained in trauma and PTSD.
Based on our experience so far, we estimate that we will need about $130,000 per year for the next ten years to achieve our goal. We are counting on donations from Lions Clubs like yours to make this a reality.
The Newtown Lions Club Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity under IRS rules. All donations are tax deductible. If you wish, we can provide you a copy of our IRS determination letter. Also, the Foundation is staffed entirely by volunteers. We have no administrative overhead so 100% of all money raised goes directly to the intended beneficiaries. Also, like yours, the Newtown Lions Club has always been very active in supporting our community so we have the organization and expertise to make sure the funds we raise are used as intended.
Can we count on your support?
Checks can be sent to: Newtown Lions Club Foundation/SHEF. P.O. Box 218, Newtown CT 06470 or by visiting our website at http://newtownlions.org/pages/SHEF/shef.htm
Newtown Lions Club Foundation