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Sandy Hook victims' funds raise $20 million so far

April 16, 2013 at 4:20 PM   |   Comments

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NEWTOWN, Conn., April 16 (UPI) -- More than 40 charitable groups have raised $20.4 million in the months since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., officials said.

The Connecticut attorney general's office and the state Department of Consumer Protection said dozens of charitable groups have sprung up since the shooting that killed 26 people at the school Dec. 14, The Hartford Courant said Tuesday.

"This request was an initial step to provide information to the public, Newtown community and other charitable organizations trying to meet the needs of those affected by this tragedy," Attorney General George Jepsen said. "My office will be following up with the charities that did not respond."

Of the $20 million collected this far, some $3 million has been dispensed.

One of the largest groups, Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation Inc., has garnered attention -- and some criticism -- for how it is handling donations. Critics say the group has been too slow in dispensing the $11 million it has collected thus far.

The group insists the money should benefit the community at large and isn't only a victims' compensation fund though it pledged to dole out $4 million to families whose children died or survived the attack.

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