Victims' Families, Survivors To Receive Payment

NEWTOWN, CONN. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A community foundation tasked with dividing up donations received after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings made preliminary recommendations regarding $7.7 million of the $11.4 million raised with the help of United Way, saying the money should go to victims’ families and survivors.

The recommendations were released before a public forum Thursday at Newtown’s Edmond Town Hall to discuss how to divide the $7.7 million. Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, special advisers to a distribution committee appointed by the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, made the recommendations.

The allocation calls for $281,000 to be given to each of the families of the 26 children and school educators killed at Sandy Hook last year.

The families of 12 surviving children who witnessed the Dec. 14 shootings would each get $20,000; two teachers who were injured would get $150,000 between them.

“Is the money adequate? Of course not,” Feinberg said. “No amount is adequate to deal with these horrors. Money is a pretty poor substitute but that’s what we have. Solomon himself could not distribute this money in a fashion that would please everybody.”

The foundation says the rest of the money will go towards other community needs, CBS 2 reported.

Before the meeting, some family members met privately with the committee and during the gathering, several people commented. Some raised questions about the process that the committee took to arrive at its decision.

“How did we get to this $7.7 [million]? Why isn’t all the money going to the victims?” victims’ spokesperson Caryn Kaufman said.

The recommendation to give money to the 12 child survivors was supported by Jeffrey Dion, deputy executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime. He said the action recognizes the lasting trauma survivors suffer.

The families of some of the victims also expressed distress regarding the process, saying that deciding how to divide up the money put them in a difficult situation.

The $7.7 million is expected to be paid out next month.

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