From the very beginning, our founding group of teachers, social workers, clergy, counselors, parents and students have been keenly aware of the types of issues that Newtown’s 4000+ young people are facing — and will continue to face — after the tragedy of December 14, 2012. We are committed to assisting our youth through whatever challenges the coming years will bring.
The young people of our community are faced with the difficult-to-grasp conflict that will lead to struggles for years to come: that is, understanding and reconciling the impact of this uniquely traumatic experience on their own lives while trying to maintain a sense of normalcy both within Newtown and while mingling with an outside world that has largely moved on.
Our programs are named for six-year old lighthouse-enthusiast Ben Wheeler, who lost his life that morning in December of 2012. Our founders’ special connection to the Wheeler family through Trinity Episcopal Church led to the name “Ben’s Lighthouse” as a way to remember Ben, but also to honor the “light” of all the innocents lost on that day. The lighthouse has provided the perfect metaphor for what we aim to accomplish.
Like a lighthouse, our purpose is to guide and protect. Through the establishment of programs that promote healing and coping, events that build and strengthen community, and outreach opportunities that empower and teach our youth, Ben’s Lighthouse is affirming each Newtown-area child in a safe environment.
Our workshops utilize experts from the fields of psychology, social work, counseling, and faith. We will continually expose our community to a wide range of coping mechanisms and available support.
Community Building events provide Newtown’s youth opportunities to celebrate life together; to remind them of the overwhelming number of people who support them, in Newtown and beyond.
Our outreach commitment is based on the idea that “helping is healing.” Giving to those whose fortunes are flagging will give our youth some sense of perspective relative to their place in the world. Often intense and demanding, these experiences will leave them with the understanding that they, too, can be agents for change.
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