HARTFORD, CT - Attorney General George Jepsen and Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein today made public the information collected to date from dozens of charities related to the shooting deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The 43 charities reporting by noon Monday have collected nearly $20.4 million and have distributed nearly $2.9 million. Among their charitable purposes are: to provide direct financial support or other assistance to the 26 families who lost loved ones; to create scholarships and an endowment to support Newtown’s children and youth; to purchase memorial trees; pay for construction of a physical memorial to those lost; and to recognize, support and inspire acts of kindness.
The information was offered in response to a voluntary request for information by the Attorney General and Commissioner. The letter and short survey were sent March 28 to 69 charities either registered with the state Department of Consumer Protection, or publically identified as having accepted donations related to Sandy Hook Elementary, where 20 children and six adults were killed on Dec. 14, 2012. The charities were asked to respond by April 12.
“This request was an initial step to provide information to the public, Newtown community and other charitable organizations trying to meet the needs of those affected by this tragedy,” said Attorney General George Jepsen. “My office will be following up with the charities that did not respond.”
Commissioner Rubenstein said, “We see this as a good first step toward providing transparency to the activities of the various funds, and guiding future donors who may wish to make a contribution.”
The charities were asked about their organization, services and funds, including the dollar amount of any donations and pledges to date; and the purposes for which money was being collected. “Our offices may reach out in the future to all the charities to determine how the donations were expended and the steps taken to prevent fraud or misuse of funds,” Rubenstein said.
The collected information is available on the Attorney General’s and Consumer Protection websites as a service to the public, however, the postings should not be considered an endorsement of any charity by the agencies or by the State.
The Attorney General and Commissioner also asked charities and members of the public to refer names of other organizations collecting donations for Sandy Hook-related purposes.
Assistant Attorneys General Karen Gano, Caitlin Calder and Mark Kohler, head of Special Litigation, are working with the Attorney General on this matter.
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