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Sandy Hook Promise Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Health, Mental Health

Mission: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it can happen by educating and mobilizing youth and adults to identify, intervene, and get help for at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions, and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

Target demographics: Children, youth, and families.

Geographic areas served: in all 50 states.

Programs: Our 4 Know the Signs Programs: Say Something, Start With Hello, Safety Assessment and Intervention, and SOS Signs of Suicide.

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3 Douglas M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Sandy Hook Promise Foundation is one of the most effective and efficient charities I have ever come across. $1 raised educates 1 child (or educator) to recognize signs of violence BEFORE it happens - so action can be taken to save lives. It was an honor to be part of the the Sandy Hook Promise 2016 TCSNYCMARATHON team to raise money for this cause. I give as freely of my time as I can to educate everyone I can that gun violence is preventable. #RunForSomething #ProtectOurKids #SafeStorageSavesLives

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi,
I’m a U.S. Army Veteran that seen a little “Gun Violence” during my time in service. I believe in the 2nd Amendment but I also believe in common sense gun laws. My city of El Paso Texas was hit just like many schools or neighborhoods around our country. As months gone by and non action from our fellow Senate Majority McConnell it has pushed me to be part of the solution. My dream of a peaceful country is all I want for us all. We must try to come together so that we may become part of the solution. We must rise against hate towards one another. We must rise against all violence. We must love our neighbor as it says in scripture for those of faith. My advice to all that has lost some one, A young WestPoint Lieutenant commanding our Platoon once told me after loosing a Friend in combat “The way to Honor our Fallen is to continue to carry out our Duty.” Wake up thank God love your parents siblings. Graduate go to college live life...That is the way to Honor those who have fallen either by School Shootings Gang Violence Mass Shootings or on the battlefield! To all the Youth! You will make mistakes but learn from them love one another and continue to fight for a Brighter future. Hope this helps!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

This organization has you all fooled. As a former staff member I can tell you that the money is not going where you expect it to. Leadership are focused on themselves and do not know how to run a business. None of them have been in such a position before and they do not seek or listen to advice.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It's heartbreaking! I am proud your keeping this out there in media. People who never experienced this cannot imagine what it's like and that's okay we are just fortunate for the time being. Your strength and advocating to help save others is awesome! You got guts to face the process it takes to create change. I admire you for it. Thank you.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I think that this particular site is a scam. I believe in preventing gun violence. However, I sometimes multiple Emails in a day asking for money. I have lost count of the number of the number of times that I have clicked on Unsubscribe, only to continue to get Emails asking for money. I have even tried contacting Sandy Hook on Facebook and by sending Emails. Nothing works. If they are not even telling the truth about being able to Unsubscribe, then I doubt that they are telling the truth about anything, especially where the money is going. I would avoid donating to this site.

Rock D.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

If you leave it up to Republicans they'll have to be at least 1000 kids killed before they do anything. There must be some kind of quota that they have that impedes their consciousness and conscience. They have no moral Scruples or concern for the people. Republican party must be disbanded based on principle alone. They have no principles. They only care about the money from the big corporations and the lobbyists. I thought everybody knew this by now. Stop voting Republican and we won't have these problems. It's that simple people. Don't argue with me I know this stuff

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Sandy Hook promise is a wonderful, and sadly necessary program. As a mom, the Sandy Hook shooting hit me hard, broke my heart, and shook me to my core. It made my sons cry & fear they might die at school. I tried to comfort them saying they will be safe. My younger son looked at me, with his big terrified, teary eyes and said “you don’t know that mommy, you can’t promise it, nowhere is safe anymore,” he was absolutely right.

2 Bonnie Mac Laughlin C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have followed this foundation since that horrific day in 2014 when children died in school. As a former teacher, I always wanted my classroom to be a safe place for all those to enter. Sadly, times have changed and that is no longer true.

On one of my many trips back to Cape Cod, I took the exit off 84 for Sandy Hook. Something told me that I needed to visit the site and pay my respects, as a teacher and fellow human being. I approached the entrance to the long road to the new school and saw a very small sign with the school name on it. Usually these signs are quite large but in this day and age, towns do not want to advertise the whereabouts of a school. As I turned into the entrance road to the school, I came upon barricades across the road which impeded by progress and needed prior identification to open. I stopped the car and sat and just cried for what seemed like a long time. To be barricaded from visiting an elementary school has become our new normal and it saddens my heart. No longer a safe haven of learning, we need barricades and bars to be safe while young children learn. This is not the way I want children of American to live
their young lives and it behooves all of us to stand tall and say, "No more".....

So I follow Sandy Hook Promise Foundation and cheer them on as they go forward for the good of all children......let's all join them in their quest for safety and security for our children.....

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have always appreciated the work of the foundation but it really hit home when my cousins high school, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas was yet another tragic statistic.
This increasing trend in our country must stop and I feel confident that the work of this organization with be at the forefront. I am a proud donor and will continue to do what I can to raise awareness.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Incredible organization doing all in their power to change the world for the better.

2

Advisor

Rating: 5

I became a SAVE Sandy Hook Promise leader 10 years ago. When Sandy Hook Promise was created, many activities were also created to help teach students to know the signs to say something. The people at Sandy Hook Promise are very passionate about their mission. They are doing amazing work!

Comments ( 1 )

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alexaaact 07/25/2019

Thank you so much for all of your work with us!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I wanted to honor the lives taken at Sandy Hook Elementary School and so I became a Promise Leader. I believe the programs offered by Sandy Hook Promise are so valuable. The foundation for reducing violence of any kind is when people feel connected and they look out for one another. The researched based, no cost programs that the organization offers will change the culture and climate of schools and other youth organizations. These positive changes will affect communities.

Comments ( 1 )

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alexaaact 07/23/2019

Thank you so much!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Sandy Hook Promise leader for almost 3 years. I have been in elementary and middle school classrooms throughout my school district and in neighboring districts . The programs are wonderful and have, more importantly , saved lives . Kids are listening and are talking because of what we teach them. And that is a big step in the right direction . I am honored to use my time by volunteering.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a mother, I felt the need to be involved in an organization that I felt connected to. Sandy Hook Promise was this organization for me. You have Promise Leaders that reach out and connect with you. Very easy to talk to someone to learn about the different ways you can be involved. I am a new Promise Leader and I’m enjoying making a connection with the community. I am passionate about the Start With Hello Program and can relate to it since my daughter is Elementary School. I know as my daughter grows up I will continue to Say Something Program and continue my growth in the organization.

3 Lynn T.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There’s a place for anyone and everyone within the broad scope of the Sandy Hook Promise mission. Some have dedicated their life’s purpose, some present, some teach what they learn, some organize events, some advocate change in statute, policy and practice, some promote, some show up when tragedy strikes but all agree on one common purpose...for the violence to end.

Comments ( 1 )

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alexaaact 06/28/2019

Lynn, this is so kind! Thank you for being a part of our work.

4 Susan307

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My oldest grandson was in kindergarten when the tragedy at Sandy Hook happened. As for so many, the sadness losing so many to guns was excruciating. Sandy Hook Promise has given me hope... If those parents can turn their grief to action to keep others from suffering so much, certainly I can as well. I've become a volunteer Sandy Hook Promise and have helped in a variety of ways over the past years. Just yesterday I went with their team to testify at the MA State House on behalf of a bill that will make Massachusetts school and communities so much safer. I had the honor of meeting with several staff of SHP, truly lovely committed people.

Comments ( 1 )

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alexaaact 06/28/2019

So glad you could join us Susan, thank you for your advocacy and compassion!

4 Carrie Hutton B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sandy Hook Promise Foundation has provided incredible prevention programs as well as intense support to our school district and local SAVE Promise Clubs. As a school based mental health professional I see the need daily for these programs and can attest to the passion and real care and attention SHP provides in helping schools implement their FREE, evidence based programs. I SO appreciate all of the work SHP is doing to keep our kids and communities safe. Thank you!! xo Carrie Brown

Comments ( 1 )

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alexaaact 06/28/2019

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Carrie! We appreciate you and all you do so much!

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sandy Hook Promise keeps their promises. Their programs and policy initiatives address the root causes of gun violence and work to prevent tragedies before they happen. What's more, they're creating a kinder learning environment for America's students.

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

“I’m going to shoot you. I’m going to kill you.” Tom yelled at me while pointing the pistol at me. I slowly rose up from the couch, frantically yelled “put the gun down, you can hurt someone” and made my way to the bathroom nearby. Locked inside with the towels and scented soaps, I noticed the telephone on the counter. This was the 80s, and a phone in the bathroom was an uncommon sight. Without that phone to call my dad, and the parents of the boy I was babysitting – I could have become one of accidental shooting statistics now reported weekly across the United States.

Thirty-plus years later, I am the mother of two school aged children. Like many, I reached new levels of despair open learning that 28 people were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown CT. The shooter, Adam Lanza committed matricide, followed by murdering twenty children ages 7 and younger, six school staff members, and then committed suicide.

In the three years following Sandy Hook, I got involved in the cause to reduce gun violence. To me, this meant being vocal about my stance on gun law reform. I donated to the advocacy group founded by Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly, following her survival of an Arizona Mass Shooting. I posted my views on Facebook, I spoke with friends and family. I thought I was doing enough.

On October 1, 2015 – a shooter at Umpqua Community College stormed the campus killing nine and committing suicide in the process. This time upon hearing the news, something changed. I questioned what good I was doing. I doubted how throwing money at advocacy groups, and voicing my opinion on Facebook was making a difference. But what had really changed was….I wasn’t horrified. In fact, I felt numb. I became fearful of desensitization. Was I indifferent? In an attempt to rally myself back to a place of being shocked – I watched a documentary produced by Nightline regarding the NRA’s rise to power. I’d hoped I would recharge my resolve, and generate new ideas on how to “solve our gun violence” problem.

But instead, I sat broken. Defeated.

It’s no use. The NRA has won. Americans, we love our guns. We can’t win. It’s over.

Head in hands, I cried and quit the fight.

The next morning, as a brand new day often does, I found myself staring at an opportunity. With Facebook’s Suggested Page fairies sprinkling their pixie dust on my screen – a beautiful green tree – with leaves made of handprints caught my eye. I spent the next several hours educating myself on the Sandy Hook Promise (www.sandyhookpromise.org), and rediscovered my soul.

Sandy Hook Promise spoke to me, in a way that other efforts hadn’t been able to. It provided a vehicle for volunteering my time, not just my money and social network. I could get directly involved in my community.

I loved how Sandy Hook Promise’s programs were heavily weighted on prevention – not waging war on gun lobbies or alienating responsible gun owners.

I loved that the focus was on mental health first aid programs. That the definition of gun violence was inclusive of suicide prevention & unintentional shootings. That the programs are predominately youth led. Volunteering and spending time with kids – teaching them how to be inclusive of other kids, how to recognize mental crisis in their friends and classmates, how to #saysomething to a trusted adult when they have witnessed a potential sign, signal or threat of gun violence. This spoke to me. That tattling and looking out for your friends and classmates are different. That we need to have a plan for kids, which they can easily follow, should they encounter a firearm unexpectedly. That we open the dialogue with youth on these issues, not brush the tough talks under the rug.

I loved that Sandy Hook Promise’s legislative philosophy is based on upholding the rights of gun owners, while advocating for gun safety, gun lethality (magazine size) and that reducing gun violence is not solely about the gun – that Mental Health advocacy, education and programs are key components.

I signed on as a Promise Leader. A Promise Leader makes the commitment to be an active participate in their community, to bring the Sandy Hook Promise programs to schools, youth centers, places of worship, and any other community organization where we can educate the public on Mental Health First Aid, and other prevention programs like #saysomething, #startwithhello #Keepitsecureandsafelystored (Kiss). That as a Promise Leader, I will educate other adults on the programs and how to get involved.

Before I donated financially, I decided it was time to donate that most valuable of all resources – time. I created a plan for how I was going to get involved with Sandy Hook Promise within my community, starting with the local middle and elementary schools my children attend.

Sitting in my son’s middle school principal’s office, I was fearful that he would view me as “an overly involved, helicopter parent”. I presented my reasons for signing on as a Promise Leader and that I wanted to get our middle school, and other schools involved with Sandy Hook Promise Programs. That I felt our public school systems were already strapped, and thin on time and resources, and that I wanted to be “the heavy lifter” to help get Sandy Hook Promise off the ground running for them.

As I sat looking at my son’s principal, nervous about what he would say, he began slowly, “Penny, this cause is one that is near and dear to my heart. We are all very concerned that something like this could happen here, in fact, our demographic is not necessarily an if it’s going to happen in some ways it’s a when. Our school already had one lock-down due to a man in a nearby neighborhood brandishing a shotgun as he walked through the streets, so I really want to support this, and in fact have some ideas on how you can get started.”

The look on his face, of surprise and gratitude that a parent would want to help them in this way – answered any doubts. It felt good to show them how much I value all their hard work in caring for our community’s kids.

He gave me unlimited access to the staff, suggested a small taskforce of teachers and administrators, communicated with them that this was something they were to get involved in. He asked me to get involved with the student led News Network and the elected student body and council. He wanted the programs to be student led – which provided me a huge sigh of relief, wondering how I was going to pull this all off with a full time job, a family to raise, and a 90-lb German shepherd nipping at my feet.

We are now in full swing preparing for our first “Say Something” week. A week of inclusion and education events which will dovetail with other positive behavior programs that our county has rolled out to districts county-wide.

Despite all this “doing” and “action” and “communicating” – the biggest gift I’ve received from volunteering for Sandy Hook Promise- is the return of hope.

That a group of families, who experienced devastating loss, could redirect their grief, for the greater good and provide an unwavering example of forgiveness – I am deeply humbled and grateful for each and every one of them.

I owe Sandy Hook Promise so much in return.




Review from #MyGivingStory