NEWTOWN, Conn. - Families of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting are joining forces with relatives of the Aurora theater shooting and other shooting tragedies to avoid the headaches that come with dispersing the millions of dollars in donations that pour in afterward.
They have asked the National Center for Victims of Crime to set up a national victims' "compassion fund" that would send donations directly to the people most affected. It would cut out major nonprofits that might be more focused on the larger community.
Sandy Hook and Aurora families are joining those affected by the shootings at Virginia Tech and the Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
Nearly $5 million was raised for the Aurora Victim Relief Fund. After complaints from the victims and families of the victims that they had no voice in the process, special master Kenneth Feinberg was brought in to determine a distribution system.
Families in Newtown say they were given a voice late in the process and that the process has been bureaucratic, difficult and unpleasant, and added to their pain.
Christina Hassinger lost her mother, Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung, in the December shooting. She says "nobody who has been through this wants to have to go and deal with boards and committees and talk about money, and justify why you need it."