Update on Sandy Hook donations

If you read my post here, you’ll know I wanted to put my books up for free in the hope that people who downloaded them would send a small donation to the community of Sandy Hook. Unfortunately, none of that is going to happen any time soon. 😦

After posting that article I did some research [yes, backwards as alwasy]. I discovered that there had been some scamming going on. That lead to more research until I found an organization that was reputable. The organization is the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation [NSHCF]. This is not the only reputable organization, but it does seem to be the biggest, and it was the one I found. So…

I contacted the NSHCF, asking about donations. This is the very nice reply I received :

‘Good evening Andrea,
Thank you for continuing to think of the Newtown community. As you can
imagine, there are tremendous needs that continue to exist in the community
and will for years to come. Our foundation would welcome donations. We
oversee the Sandy Hook School Support Fund which gave a large portion of the
fund to the 26 families, 2 injured teachers, and 12 surviving children in
the two classrooms. The remaining funds and any future contributions are
being directed to support unmet needs in the community. That process is
being overseen by a distribution committee of 10 individuals that represent
the various groups most impacted- a parent who lost a child, a
representative of the parents of surviving children, a teacher, a police
officer, a fireman, and general community members. The fund plans to
support the needs in the community for the next 15 years so will need
continuous support in order to do so. Your donation would be most welcome.
Checks can be payable to either the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation
or to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund at the address listed below my
signature. Please let me know if you have any questions and many thanks
once again for your generosity and support.


Jennifer D. Barahona, LCSW
Executive Director
Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation
P.O. Box 194
Newtown, CT 06470

So, while it is possible to donate via NSHCF, each donation would have to be by cheque, and snail-mail. I stopped owning a cheque book years ago, and suspect most online denizens are the same.

Next I considered PayPal because it is so convenient, and secure. But to donate via PayPal, there would have to be an account setup to accept donations, and then someone would have to forward those donations on to the NSHCF. No way in the wide world was that someone going to be me.

“Hey people! Download my books for free and then donate to this account I setup in my own name. Of course I’ll send your donations to charity…”

Yup, that would go down really well. 😦

Finally, I turned to an organization that most people would trust – Amazon itself. Not surprisingly, they asked for clarification :

‘Greetings from AmazonSmile Support,

Could you please restate your initial question it seems that the email did not come through clear. Once we have gathered the needed information from you we will be able to assist you with your questions.

Have a great day!


Best regards,

Brianna B.

I replied, as clearly as I could, and so far I haven’t heard back.

In hindsight, I doubt Amazon can do very much. If they did agree to accept donations to Sandy Hook, the logistics would be a nightmare. They would have to make sure their own status was covered from a legal standpoint. Then they would have to ensure that any funds collected were sent to reputable organizations [can you imagine the scandal if donations ended up going to a scam artist?]. Then they would have to add donation buttons to the ordinary Amazon interface. And then, they would have to provide some way for authors to attach a donation message to each book…and those are just the obvious things that occurred to me after the fact.


The take home message from all this is that my bright, shiny idea is unworkable. I won’t be doing a free giveaway, and I do apologize to everyone for not doing my homework before opening my big mouth. 😦

Not the happiest post I’ve ever written, but I couldn’t just sweep the whole thing under the rug and hope no one would quiz me on it.

Now that I’ve ‘fessed up, I’m going to go start my xmas baking with a clear conscience. I have to make a Chocolate Mousse Cake

, but I’m also going to experiment with a carb-free hazelnut cake. I’ll be using Stevia instead of sugar, and no flour. No idea how it will turn out, but if it’s edible I’ll post the recipe.

Have a great pre-xmas weekend,



About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

4 responses to “Update on Sandy Hook donations

  • metan

    Nothing’s ever easy….. 😉
    What about an international money order from the post office? You’re right, to only use cheques seems very antiquated when the whole world is so connected to the internet these days!


  • Colin

    I am always surprised when yanks say they still use cheques. I can’t think of a more unsecure form of payment than a slip of a paper that you can copy at will.

    Sorry your charity fizzled, and it’s no comfort but sometimes it’s the thought that counts. In the future, it seems simpler to just say ‘all proceeds of this book go to charity’, and then just send a transfer from yourself when you get the royalty statement.


    • acflory

      I guess we take ebanking and all that for granted but cheques are still around. Some Tradies still get a bit flustered when I ask if I can pay directly into their account. :/

      I’m really uncomfortable with linking actual sales to donations because I know I’d suspect a scam if someone else did that to me. 😦 Who knows, maybe Amazon will end up thinking it’s not such a bad idea. Maybe. 🙂


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