How To Honor The Legacy Of All 26 Newtown Shooting Victims

How To Honor The Legacy Of All 26 Newtown Shooting Victims

Sunday marks two years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six faculty members.

In the time since, the community has come together to grieve, fight for stricter gun laws and help one another keep alive the spirit of each of the victims whose lives were cut short far too soon.

Learn about the foundations and community initiatives established in their memories below and how you can help support them.

Benjamin Wheeler
To honor their "irrepressible" son who dreamed of becoming an architect, a paleontologist and a lighthouse keeper, Benjamin Wheeler's parents established Ben's Lighthouse, a group that supports the healing of Newtown's children through workshops and community events. Find out how you can get involved here.
Emilie Parker
To honor their exuberant 6-year-old girl who loved to paint, Emilie Parker's parents started the Emilie Parker Art Connection, an organization that supports the arts with funding for programs in the community and in schools. Find out how you can get involved here.
Daniel Barden
Honored at his funeral by the very firefighters whose shoes he hoped to one day fill, Daniel Barden already knew his dream job at age 7 and how important it was to support kids with special needs. To perpetuate his legacy, his parents launched the "What Would Daniel Do" movement to inspire people to treat one another with kindness. Find out how you can get involved here.
Victoria Soto
Family Handout
A heroic teacher who reportedly died while trying to shield her students from bullets, Victoria Soto is being remembered through two memorial funds. The Vicki Soto Memorial Fund and the Victoria Leigh Soto Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund help aspiring teachers in need pursue their dreams. Learn more here and here.
Charlotte Bacon
Lake Minnetonka Patch
The Charlotte Bacon Act of Kindness Awards were established to foster empathetic communities and to honor children who have offered up particularly outstanding acts of kindness. The third annual awards event will be held on Feb. 15. Find out more about the initiative and how you can get involved here.
Dawn Hochsprung
The heroic principal who died while lunging unarmed at the gunman, according to officials, will be remembered through a fund set up in her name. The scholarship will benefit students of her hometown high school who are planning to pursue a career in education. Find out how you can get involved in the Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Memorial Fund here.
Rachel D'avino
Family Handout
Rachel D’Avino, a behavioral therapist who shielded her students from bullets, is being honored through a fund that is continuing her legacy of helping autistic kids in her community. Find out how you can get involved with the Rachel Marie D’Avino Memorial Fund here.
Olivia Rose Engel
To spread their 6-year-old daughter’s love of animals with the community, the parents of Olivia Rose Engel have asked supporters to help the Newtown Park & Bark, a local off-leash park. Learn more about Olivia here and how you can support Newtown Park & Bark here.
Avielle Richman
Her parents’ “little hummingbird,” Avielle Richman, 6, loved horses, Harry Potter and the color red. She is remembered through a foundation set up in her name that aims to prevent violence through research and community education. Find out more about the Avielle Foundation and how you can get involved here.
Josephine Gay
Family Handout
Josephine Gay never learned to speak, but the girl with the “indomitable” spirit was social, affectionate and partook in rigorous therapy daily without complaint. To help other kids with autism, who face many of the same struggles, her family set up Joey’s Fund through the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. In the past two years, the fund has collected more than $130,000 in grants, which was used to provide adaptive bicycles and aqua-therapy among other activities. Learn more about the program and how you can get involved here.
Madeline Hsu
Family Handout
An “upbeat and kind” 6-year-old who loved to wear bright, flowery dresses, a neighbor told the Wall Street Journal, Madeleine Hsu continues to be honored through a memorial fund set up in her name. Donations can be sent to the Madeleine Hsu Memorial Fund, c/o Wells Fargo Bank, 26 Church Hill Road, Newtown CT 06470
Dylan Hockley
Dylan Hockley died in the arms of his favorite teacher, Anne Marie Murphy. His parents hope to give other kids with autism the kind of specialized attention that helped Dylan thrive through Dylan's Wing of Change, which helps children with autism and other related conditions achieve their full potential. Find out more about the group and how you can get involved here.
Catherine V. Hubbard
To keep their daughter’s deep-seated love of animals alive, Catherine's parents set up the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation. Find out how you can make a contribution in Catherine’s memory here.
Chase Kowalski
Family Handout
An avid athlete who loved baseball and had already won his first “mini triathlon” at age 6, Chase Kowalski’s parents honor their son’s vivacious spirit through CMAK Foundation, which focuses on health and wellness for children. Make a donation online here.
Jesse Lewis
Family Handout
To honor Jesse Lewis, the little boy who shared his mom’s love of horses, and often fell asleep in her arms, his parents set up the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation. The group aims to create awareness among children so that communities choose love over anger. Find out more about the organization and how you can get involved here.
Ana Marquez-Greene
Family Handout
At the time of her death, Ana Grace Márquez-Greene had already cultivated a deep passion for singing and dancing, a passion her parents hope to make possible for other aspiring artists through a music scholarship fund at Western Connecticut State University. Donate online here. The Marquez-Greene family has also established the Ana Grace Project in partnership with the Klingberg Family Centers to prevent violence and promote recovery. Find out more, as well as how to donate here.
James Mattioli
Family Handout
To honor their son whom they described as an "energetic, loving friend to all,” James Mattioli's parents set up a memorial fund in his name. Donations can be sent to the James R. Mattioli Memorial Fund c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470.
Grace Audrey McDonnell
Family Handout / AP
Grace Audrey McDonnell was a "girly girl" who loved playing dress-up and wearing pink, her grandmother told Irish Central, and her family hopes to keep her legacy alive through the Grace McDonnell Memorial Fund. Donations can be mailed to the Fairfield County Community Foundation, 383 Main Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851 or online at the Community Foundation's website.
Anne Marie Murphy
Family Handout
Anne Marie Murphy died cradling Dylan Hockley, the late 6-year-old with autism for whom she served as a teacher's aide, according NBC. Her family hopes to honor her passion for helping kids with special needs by asking supporters to donate to the country's largest autism science and advocacy organization, Autism Speaks. Learn more here.
Jack Pinto
Family Handout
A die-hard New York Giants fan who was honored after his death by his favorite player, Victor Cruz, according to the New York Daily News, Jack Pinto is remembered through a fund set up in his name that assists organizations that help families in need. Make a donation to the Jack A. Pinto Charitable Gift Fund here.
Noah Pozner
The youngest of the 20 children killed during the shooting, Noah Pozner left behind four siblings, including his twin sister, Arielle. Supporters set up the Noah Pozner Memorial Fund to provide his siblings with counseling services, education and basic needs. Find out more and how you can get involved here.
Caroline Previdi
Family Handout
To honor Caroline, a "bright-eyed and cheerful little girl" her family created the Caroline Previdi Foundation to provide extracurricular scholarships for dance, art, music and sports to children in need in the Newtown and surrounding areas. Learn more and how you can get involved here.
Jessica Rekos
Remembered as a little girl who adored horses and playing with her two younger brothers, according to CBS, Jessica Rekos is honored through a foundation set up in her name, which funds programs and scholarships to allow other children to enjoy Jessica's favorite pastimes. Find out more about the group and how you can get involved here.
Lauren Rousseau
When Lauren Rousseau landed a permanent substitute teaching job at Sandy Hook Elementary School, her mother told the NewsTimes it was the “best year of her life." The Lauren Rousseau Elementary Education Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to an applicant seeking a certification in elementary education, was established in her memory. Find out more and how you can get involved here.
Mary Sherlach
School psychologist Mary Sherlach lunged toward the gunman in an effort to stop him, and died while trying to protect her beloved students, officials said. Family members honor Sherlach's memory through Mary's Fund, which supports mental health services for children and teens throughout Fairfield County. Find out more and how you can get involved here.
Allison Wyatt
Allison Wyatt "loved to laugh and was developing her own wonderful sense of humor,” her family wrote in a statement obtained by NBC. The Wyatts established the Allison Wyatt Memorial Fund to support charities in her honor and to help her sister as she works through the lasting effects of the tragedy. Find out more here.
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