HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Families of those killed in December’s massacre inside the Sandy Hook Elementary school began receiving money Wednesday from one of the many charities set up following the tragedy
Rob Accomando, the co-founder and director of the My Sandy Hook Family Fund, said that organization has been working closely with all 26 families and has begun dispersing some of the just under $1.2 million it has raised.
He says each family is entitled to 1/26th of the fund, but not everyone needs or wants their entire share right away.
‘‘Basically, we’re responding to their individual needs in a comfortable private conversation,’’ he said. ‘‘This is the first chunk that people are going to see, so they won’t have to worry about their mortgages, their taxes, their car payments. And as we get more money in, 100 percent of it will go to the families.’’
Accomando and other neighbors of the Newtown school set the fund up shortly after the shooting. He said they were able to cut the first checks after the group received positive feedback from the state Attorney General’s Office, which had been looking over the group’s documentation to ensure it was in order.
‘‘While no amount of money will ever alleviate the pain of losing a loved one, we are pleased that this fund is providing assistance to those most directly affected by last month’s tragedy, and doing so quickly,’’ said Andrew Doba, a spokesman for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
Dozens of funds have been set up to raise money for various Newtown-related causes, including scholarships for Sandy Hook children, a permanent memorial to the victims and mental health counseling for first responders.
The largest, the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, is in the process of setting up a foundation to determine how to spend more than $8.6 million it has raised.
Accomando said his fund was set up by people who knew the victims, and is solely to aid the families of those killed. He said most of the money has been donated by individuals from across the world through the group’s website, mysandyhookfamilyfund.com.
‘‘It’s been over 10,000 separate small donations,’’ he said. ‘‘We've gotten a lot of $26 donations.’’