In the one year since Newtown faced an unspeakable tragedy, the community has come together to heal by honoring every one of the 26 victims who lost their lives in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School Dec. 14, 2012.
Some will be remembered through projects that honor their children’s most cherished passions. Others will have their legacies continue on through initiatives that foster kindness and understanding.
Find out about each of the memorial funds below and how you can get involved in keeping their spirits alive.
To honor their "irrepressible" son who dreamed of becoming an architect, Benjamin Wheeler's parents have established Ben's Lighthouse
, a group that supports the healing of Newtown's children in a safe, non-violent environment. Learn more here.
For their smiley 6-year-old girl who loved to paint, Emilie Parker's parents have set up the Emilie Parker Art Connection
, an organization that supports the arts with funding for programs in the community and schools. Learn more here.
He dreamed of becoming a fireman and was quick to help a kid who didn't feel accepted. Daniel Barden
lives on through the "What Would Daniel Do"
, which inspires people to treat one another with kindness. Learn more here.
A heroic teacher
who reportedly hid some students during the shooting and died trying to shield them from bullets, Victoria Soto is being honored through a fund named after her that will help those pursuing a career in education. Learn more here.
Charlotte Bacon adored animals and wanted to care for them for a living. The lively girl's parents are honoring their daughter's memory through Newtown Kindness
, a nonprofit that fosters compassion among children and kindness in communities. Learn more here.
The youngest of the 20 children killed, Noah Pozner
leaves behind four siblings, including his twin sister and best friend, Arielle. Supporters have set up the Noah's Ark of Hope Fund
to support the Pozner family. Learn more here.
Ana Grace Márquez-Greene sang even before she spoke, and her her parents hope to give artists the chance to fulfill the dream Ana likely would've pursued through a music scholarship fund at Western Connecticut State University.
The family has also established a personal fund
to help them through the grieving process. Learn more here and here.
Allison Wyatt "loved to laugh
and her parents hope to continue her legacy through two funds. One will help charities in her honor and the second will provide Allison's younger sister with ongoing support. Learn more here.
The heroic principal
who died while lunging at the Sandy Hook shooter will be remembered through a fund that supports students pursuing an educational career. Find out how you can support the Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Memorial Fund here.
To help prevent other families from suffering such an unspeakable tragedy, the parents of Avielle Richman founded the Avielle Foundation
, which aims to prevent violence by fostering brain health research, education, and community development. Learn more here.
To honor Caroline Previdi
, who loved to draw and dance, Beta Theta Pi, the fraternity to which her father belonged, launched a fund that provides scholarships to worthy students majoring in Education. Learn how you can support the Caroline Previdi of Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial Scholarship Fund here.
never learned to speak, but she was social, affectionate and partook in rigorous therapy. To help other kids with autism, her family set up Joey’s Fund
through the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. Learn more here.
, a behavioral therapist who shielded her students is being honored through a fund that will continue her passion for helping kids with autism. Learn more about the Rachel Marie D’Avino Memorial Fund here.
An “upbeat and kind” kid who loved to wear bright, flowery dresses, Madeleine Hsu
will be honored through a fund set up in her name. Donations can be sent to:
The Madeleine Hsu Memorial Fund
Care of Wells Fargo Bank
26 Church Hill Road
Newtown, CT 06470
A "girly girl" who loved playing dress-up, Grace Audrey McDonnell
will be remembered through a fund set up in her name through the Fairfield County Community Foundation, which plans to establish scholarships to help artists carry out their dreams. Learn more here.
died in the arms of his favorite teacher, Anne Marie Murphy. His parents hope to give other kids with autism the kind of specialized attention that helped Dylan thrive through a fund set up in his name. Learn more about the Dylan Hockley Memorial Fund here.
When Lauren Rousseau
landed a permanent teaching job at Sandy Hook Elementary School, her mother told the NewsTimes it was the “best year of her life." A scholarship fund has been set up in her name through the Pi Beta Phi Foundation. Learn more here.
To keep alive their daughter’s love of animals, Catherine Hubbard’s parents are in the process of developing an animal sanctuary that will be named after their passionate little girl. Learn more here.
An avid athlete who had already won his first “mini triathlon” at age 6, Chase Kowalski’s parents hope to honor their son’s vivacious spirit through a scholarship fund set up in his name
to help the community heal. Learn more here.
To honor the little boy who shared his mom’s love of horses, and often fell asleep in her arms, Jesse Lewis’ parents set up a memorial fund
in his name that will pay for Jesse’s older brother’s education and college tuition. Learn more here.
To honor their son whom they described as a "loving friend to all,”
James R. Mattioli’s parents have set up a memorial fund
in his name. Donations can be sent to the
James R. Mattioli Memorial Fund c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470.
She died cradling the child for whom she served as a teacher's aide and Anne Marie Murphy's family hopes to keep alive her passion for helping kids with special needs by supporting the country's largest autism science and advocacy organization, Autism Speaks, in her honor. Learn more here.
A diehard Giants fan who was honored by his favorite player, Victor Cruz, Jack Pinto
will be remembered through a fund set up in his name that helps families in need. Learn more here.
She loved horses and playing with her two younger brothers, and Jessica Rekos
will continue to live on through a fund that supports causes she cared about most. Learn more about the Jessica Rekos Foundation here.
School psychologist Mary Sherlach
died trying to protect her beloved students, officials said. Family members are honoring Sherlach's memory through a fund set up in her memory through the Fairfield County Community Foundation. Learn more here.