Within days of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy a group of teachers, counselors, social workers, clergy, parents and local businessmen began meeting to discuss the long-term implications of the tragedy on the children of Newtown and surrounding areas. Empirical evidence suggested that the effects could linger for decades.
The organization eventually became known as Ben’s Lighthouse, named after 6-year-old shooting victim Benjamin Wheeler and for his love of lighthouses. The lighthouse became a symbol for what the team worked to accomplish: “Guide and Protect” the affected children.
Over two years, the mostly-volunteer organization (its first staff member was hired in September 2014) held several joyful community events to remind children and families of the good within the town, launched weekend and after-school programs to promote resiliency skills, friendship and mentoring for those kids who needed it most, and engaged in relief mission trips for high school youth to help them reclaim their inner light through service: #HelpingIsHealing
Each of these activities has been performed at no cost to any of the participants. Ben’s Lighthouse strives to continue that policy to make sure that nobody is left out because of financial constraints. Your support will help to ensure that Ben’s Lighthouse can continue its mission.
The need for the extra programs and activities provided by Ben’s Lighthouse will continue throughout the school years of all of the children in town. Please help us to provide that support!
Take a look at some local and national stories featuring Ben’s Lighthouse:
– Ben’s Lighthouse volunteers lend a hand in Louisiana recovery efforts (The News Times)
– Teens from Newtown, Conn., help repair homes in Denham Springs (The Advocate)
– Newtown charity hosts day of service to honor MLK (The News-Times)
– ‘Serving Lunch With Love’: Ben’s Lighthouse Volunteers Honor Legacy Of Dr King (The Newtown Bee)
– Teens Build Hope After Tragedy (NBC News)
Newtown is a scenic New England town located in Fairfield County in southwestern Connecticut, about sixty miles from New York City.
Newtown is bordered on the south by Easton and Redding, on the north by Bridgewater and Southbury, on the east by Oxford and Monroe, and on the west by Bethel and Brookfield. Newtown is traversed by Interstate 84, U.S. routes 6 and 302 and Connecticut routes 25 and 34. It covers 38,644 acres or 60.38 square miles, making it the fifth largest town in square acreage in the state. Newtown was established in 1711 and is comprised of the Borough of Newtown and the villages of Sandy Hook, Hawleyville, Botsford and Dodgingtown.
The town seal includes the rooster weathervane located atop The Newtown Meeting House, but, for many, the symbol of Newtown is the 100 foot flagpole in the middle of Main Street. In the winter, the 12 foot by 18 foot American flag is flown. In the spring, the beautiful 20 foot by 30 foot summer flag is raised by the Newtown Hook & Ladder Fire Co., under the supervision of former Police Lieutenant David Lydem, who is the “Keeper of the Flag”.
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