Booked Parties

BlogChit Chat with Jennifer Barahona, Executive Director of The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation

Booked Parties is not only about the celebration of birthday’s but we also take pride in our non-profit partnerships which celebrate the amazing work these organizations do within their communities and beyond! For the month of July, Booked Parties has partnered with the Newtown- Sandy Hook Community Foundation and will be donating 10% of our proceeds to the organization. We are also bringing extra visibility and funding to this wonderful organization through our partnerships with Share Your Wish and Mabel’s Labels for the month of July.  Please click here for details.  

We can only hope that our donations will help this organization further their mission and support of the Newtown – Sandy Hook community and those affected by the tragedy that occurred and that healing will continue to go on.

We recently spoke with Jennier Barahona, the Executive Director of the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation and talked more about the organization and the work they are doing.

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Tell us what the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation does? 

The mission of the Foundation is to devote itself to the furthering and supporting operations and activities which address the short-term and long-term unmet needs of individuals and the Newtown community arising from the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.  The Foundation was established to oversee the Sandy Hook School Support Fund and any other tragedy related funds that wished to come under the umbrella of our 501c3.  A distribution committee of individuals representing the groups most impacted by the tragedy make funding decisions based on public input, individual and community needs assessments, and research into best practices. The Foundation has taken a leadership role in helping connect organizations working in the community on recovery efforts, managing collaborative funds, training Newtown staff and clinicians on a variety of post-trauma healing methods, organizing Community Connections events, helping structure and fund necessary town supports, and more.  To date the Foundation has distributed $8.8 million dollars of the roughly $12.5 million in the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. The Foundation manages and funds the reimbursement process for individuals seeking brain (aka mental) health trauma treatment as well as a community grants program that has provided over $400,000 to programs in the community working with impacted individuals. In 2014 the Foundation announced that it would incrementally spend down the funds and sunset by December 31, 2025 after the 2012-13 kindergarten class from Sandy Hook School has graduated high school.

What will the money raised by Booked Parties and our partners go towards? 

Funds raised by Booked Parties will go to the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation to support all of the operations mentioned above. The Foundation is a non-profit, 501c3 managed by 1.2 FTEs. No funds from the Sandy Hook School Support Fund have been used for any administrative costs to date. We hope to continue to use grants and other supports, such as the funds from Booked Parties, to support the work of the Foundation for as long as possible.

What can a partnership like this do for your organization?

As a non-profit, we rely on the generosity of individuals, corporations, and government grants to remain operational in order to meet the needs of the community.   Beyond that, the visibility that this kind of partnership produces is enormously helpful. Beyond the financial needs of the Foundation, we want people to be aware of the magnitude and scope of a tragedy such as ours.  The impact is so deep and far reaching.  We hope to spread awareness of the devastating ripple impact that these kinds of events have on thousands of individuals and families. In doing so we wish to remind people that there are countless individuals living with trauma that can’t be seen.  We hope we can help generate courageous conversations and encourage compassion and empathy. We are trying to help a community in the aftermath of unspeakable horror but every person can play a role in helping build communities that are kind and loving to prevent these kinds of senseless acts of violence.  

How else can people support the NSHCF? 

The Foundation was set up to support the community and those most impacted by this tragedy.  People can help us to do that by getting involved in one or more of the many wonderful programs and foundations established in memory of the loved ones killed at Sandy Hook.  We would encourage people to visit www.mysandyhookfamily.org to learn about the victims and these organizations and then find a program to get involved with, donate to, and/or follow on social media.

Is there anything else people should know about the NSHCF? 

We encourage anyone who would like to learn more about our Foundation to visit www.nshcf.org or reach out to Executive Director, Jennifer Barahona, at jbarahona@nshcf.org.

We are extraordinarily grateful for the support received from Booked Parties, Share Your Wish and Mabel’s Labels!

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