NEWTOWN, Conn., Jan. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Exactly one month after the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that took the lives of 20 first graders and six educators, families of many of the victims today joined with their neighbors to announce the launch of Sandy Hook Promise, a new, national nonprofit organization. The group's mission is to support those affected by the tragedy and enlist all Americans in supporting comprehensive solutions to make our country safer from similar acts of violence. They also called for a national dialogue around issues of mental health, school safety and gun responsibility.
"Doing nothing is no longer an option," said Tom Bittman, co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise. "Children deserve to wake up in the morning unafraid to go to school. Parents deserve to know that when their kids head off to school that they are going to come home."
"Parent is defined as a 'point of origin,'" said David Wheeler whose son Ben was among the 20 children killed. "What I have recently come to realize is that I am not done being the best parent I can be for Ben. Not by a very long measure. If there is something in our society that clearly needs to be fixed or healed or resolved, that resolution needs a point of origin. It needs parents."
Group Urges Americans to "Make the Promise" to Honor the Victims by Supporting Real ChangeTo build support for its movement promoting national change, Sandy Hook Promise is asking all Americans to join with them in "promising" to participate in making the changes necessary to prevent future tragedies. Individuals can "sign" the Sandy Hook Promise at the group's new website, launched today, ( sandyhookpromise.org). "The compassion, the kindness, and the genuine care that people everywhere have shown to Newtown tells us that the goals of Sandy Hook Promise are within our reach," said Tim Makris, co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise. "Make the Promise. Together we can fix this." Sandy Hook Promise is a nonprofit corporation, with a 501c(3) Foundation (in process) as well as a 501c(4) Action Fund. Individuals wishing to support the group may make tax deductible donations to the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation by visiting the website. Visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/sandyhookpromise, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/sandyhook. ABOUT SANDY HOOK PROMISE SANDY HOOK PROMISESandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a non-profit corporation* created by members of the community of Newtown, Connecticut in response to the shooting on December 14, 2012, at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, which killed 20 children, four teachers and two administrators. A PROMISE IS BORNThere was a gathering of people in Newtown. It was in someone's kitchen, and it was filled with friends and neighbors who knew they needed to be together. Gradually, as they spoke, they also realized something else. They understood that they had a responsibility. To honor the kids and teachers they'd lost, as well as the survivors. They promised to do whatever they could to not let this tragedy stand as just another in our country's history. WITH EVERY HUG, A PROMISEThe first mission of SHP is to support the families of the victims, the survivors, first responders and teachers and staff of the school as well as the community of Newtown, ("our community") by providing financial and service support and assistance whenever possible and for as long as it takes for each individual to heal. THE PROMISE OF COMMON SENSE Moving forward, the SHP mission is to work to identify and implement holistic, common sense solutions that will make our community and our country safer from similar acts of violence through education, outreach and grass-roots discussion. SHP believes the time has come to enter into these discussions with equal parts of Love, Compassion, and Common Sense. THE PROMISE, THIS TIME, OF REAL CHANGEThis is the time. The time to stand up and say that our society should not live under the threat of this kind of violence. Sandy Hook Promise is committed to making Newtown be remembered as the place where we came together both as a community...and as a nation, and decided that we must do everything we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening again. Let Newtown go down in history as the place where real change began. *SHP is a 501c(3) in application process for recognition as a tax-exempt public charity