As the details of a mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut continue to unfold, local mental health professionals and aid organizations are stepping forward to help those affected by the tragedy.
Police report that 20 students and 6 adults were killed Friday morning during a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, according to the Associated Press. Officials identified the gunman as Adam Lanza, 20, who died at the scene, CNN reports.
As the shocked community begins to mourn, a number of organizations are prepared to help with counseling services and bereavement therapy and funds have been set up to support the victims' families.
Find out how the area’s nonprofits are getting involved in the relief effort and how you can help:
Sandy Hook School Support Fund
United Way, a global nonprofit that works to improve families and individuals’ education, income stability and health, has set up the Sandy Hook School Support Fund through its Western Connecticut chapter. The fund will provide support services to the families that have been affected by the mass shooting. Donations can be mailed to: Sandy Hook School Support Fund c/o Newtown Savings Bank 39 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470 or submitted online here.
Benjamin Wheeler Fund
An “irrepressibly bright and spirited boy” who loved to play soccer and the piano, Benjamin Wheeler, 6, was one of the 20 students killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. His parents have set up the Benjamin Wheeler Fund in his memory. Checks can be mailed to the Benjamin Wheeler Fund, c/o Trinity Episcopal Church, 36 Main Street, Newtown, Conn., 06470.
Danbury hospital has partnered with other local counseling and mental health agencies within the community and is providing crisis intervention services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Find out how you can contribute here.
Noah's Ark of Hope Fund
Six-year-old Noah Pozner -- the youngest of the 20 children killed during the shooting on Friday -- leaves behind four siblings, including his twin sister and best friend, Arielle. Supporters have set up the Noah's Ark of Hope Fund to provide the little boy's siblings with counseling services, education and basic needs. Donations can be made online and checks can be mailed to Congregation Adath Israel, P.O. Box 623, Newtown, CT 06470 with "For the Family of Noah Pozner" in the memo line.
Friends of the Engel Family Fund
Olivia Engel, 6, was shot and killed during the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. To help the family of the little girl who longtime family friend, Dan Merton, said "had perfect manners" and was the "teacher's pet, the line leader," supporters have set up the Friends of the Engel Family Fund. Find out how you can donate here.
Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims Relief Fund
Ryan Kraft, a former Sandy Hook student who babysat for Adam Lanza -- the shooter who carried out the massacre on Friday -- was inspired to set up the Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims Relief Fund, according to CBS Los Angeles. Money raised will be used to help victims, families and others affected by the tragedy and donations will be directed to the Sandy Hook Elementary School PTSA, according to the fundraising site. Find out how you can get involved here.
Newtown Memorial Fund
The Newtown Memorial Fund aims to help victims’ families pay for funeral costs, set up a community-wide memorial and a college scholarship fund for the students of the Newtown Public Schools. Find out how you can get involved here.
Emilie Parker Memorial Fund
Emilie Parker, 6, was one of 26 victims killed on Friday in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. To support Emilie’s parents, Robbie and Alissa, in paying for medical expenses, arranging for a funeral in Utah and taking off from work to spend time with family, friends and relatives have set up the Emilie Parker Memorial Fund. Checks can be mailed to: Emilie Parker Memorial PO Box 12751
Ogden, UT 84412-2751. To donate via PayPal, use the email firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Sandy Hook Family Fund
A group of Newtown parents have created My Sandy Hook Family Fund to tend to the immediate needs of the victims' families. So far the fund has raised over $30,000 and aims to hit $2 million. Organizers are working to provide anything from airline tickets and hotel accommodations for out-of-town family members to attend funerals to delivering warm meals for grieving parents. Find out how you can donate here.
Newtown Youth and Family Services
Newtown Youth & Family Services, Inc., a nonprofit mental health clinic, remained open for emergency counseling over the weekend for families, community members or staff involved in the Sandy Hook
Elementary school tragedy and is accepting donations.Find out how you can help here.
Newtown Parent Connection
The Newtown Parent Connection, a nonprofit that addresses issues of substance abuse, also offers bereavement group counseling on the first Wednesday of every month. The organization told The Huffington Post that it’s going to try to bring in additional counselors to accommodate the needs of those affected by the Sandy Hook shooting. Find out how you can help here.
Support the Family of Ana Grace Márquez-Greene
Ana Grace Márquez-Greene, 6, a musical child who “danced to all the music she heard," her parents said in a statement, was one of the 20 young victims killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Ana’s parents have asked supporters to honor their daughter’s memory by contributing to three causes.
- Supporters can send checks to the Artist’s Collective to 1200 Albany Avenue, Hartford, Conn., 06112.
- The Ana Grace Márquez-Greene Music Scholarship Fund is accepting donations at Western Connecticut State University, Office of Institutional Advancement, 181 White St., Danbury, Conn., 06810 and online here.
Project Linus, a nonprofit that brings comfort to children in crisis, has arranged to send more than 700 warm, cozy handmade blankets to children affected by this latest shooting, according to an email sent to The Huffington Post. Find out how you can get involved here.
The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross of Connecticut provided more than 50 units of blood platelets and plasma to the Danbury Hospital, where some of the victims were transported, spokesperson Melanie Pipkin told the Huffington Post. The aid organization has also distributed food and water to first responders and is setting up a family reception center that will provide initial grief counseling. The aid organization is not seeking blood donations at this time and is asking supporters to reach out to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Find out how you can get involved here.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates on how to help.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misidentified the gunman after police had previously named the suspect's brother as the shooter.