Students at The Kent School were, like so many others across the state and country, upset when they heard the news of the shootings at Sandy Hook School on 12/14. And like others, many students of the independent coeducational boarding school in northwestern Connecticut began reaching out to the residents of Newtown with words of condolence.
Headmaster Father Richardson Schell led the school in its mourning, and students soon began working on a number of school-sponsored events to show their support to this community. One such event was a T-shirt fundraiser that raised funds for The Sandy Hook School Support. The fund was established shortly after 12/14 by the United Way of Western Connecticut to provide support services to the families of victims and other members of the community who have been affected.
Noah Burhance, who lives in Newtown and is a member of the school’s REACH (Remember Every Action Can Help) Club, worked with club advisor Megan Sokolnicki to design the shirt. There are approximately 50 members of the Kent School’s REACH Club, according to Noah.
“No one else from my school is from Newtown, so I helped with the town logo, and the school’s colors,” said Noah, who is a third form (freshman) student at The Kent School. “We really wanted this to be special.”
The shirts are long sleeved, 100 percent preshrunk cotton. They feature a rooster weathervane on the front, and no lettering.
“We sold this until shortly before the two-month anniversary [of 12/14],” Noah said on March 4. “About a dozen students went to the March For Change on February 14, and they all wore their T-shirts for the march.”
The following day, a Friday, Kent School students all wore their green T-shirts for the school’s Dress Down Day.
The REACH Club ordered 200 shirts, and have approximately 30 shirts still available. Noah is now hoping that some of his fellow Newtown residents would like to help his club finish their fundraiser.
“We wanted the funds to go to a fund that was using a Newtown bank, so we decided to work with Newtown Savings Bank,” Noah explained Monday morning. NSB was the initial conduit for The Sandy Hook School Support Fund. The public can make donations to The Sandy Hook School Support Fund at any Newtown Savings Bank branch.
The United Way has since announced that in addition to NSB, four banks have also announced that customers can donate to the fund at their branches, with 100 percent of the contribution going directly to the fund. The banks are Bank of America, ChelseaGroton Bank, Union Savings Bank and Wells Fargo.
United Way of Western Connecticut is not applying any management fees to donations to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. The only fees being applied are the external processing fees charged to United Way (credit card fee, Text to Give fee) by the company processing the transaction.
The Kent School fundraiser shirts are $15 each, and are available at The Bee’s office at 5 Church Hill Road. Cash or checks payable to The Kent School, so that the school can send one large check to the United Way, will be accepted for payment. The shirts are available in small, medium and large, and the supply is limited.
For additional information contact Noah at 203-426-6077 or burhancen16@Kent-School.edu.