Archives For Charity

47 cents of each dollar raised goes to charities

1. Conan Takes The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

2. Mark Zuckerberg Ice Bucket Challenge!

3. The Rock | ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

4. Andy Cohen Takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

5. Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

6. Ronda Rousey Accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

7. RDJ takes the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

8. The Voice 2014: Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Carson Daly ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Pelham police release surveillance photo

Foundation deciding what to do with $11 million in donations

Sandy Hook Report 4

Second floor computer room in the Lanza house

Danbury State Attorney

HARTFORD, Conn. — Some Newtown residents are calling for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter’s home to be torn down and replaced with a park or nature preserve, according to a new community survey.

The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation received more than 1,600 responses to the survey it released Monday on town residents’ unmet needs in the wake of the December 2012 shootings. The foundation has been deciding how to distribute more than $11 million in donations made in response to the shootings, which left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.

While most of the survey responses said money for mental health counseling and other family expenses are top priorities, a small percentage of community members mentioned funds to buy and tear down Adam Lanza’s home, said Jennifer Barahona, the foundation’s executive director. She said several people who live near the Lanza house said in the survey that it should be razed.

“That’s not something we’re considering at this time,” Barahona said. “It’s really outside of our scope.”

The house in Newtown is where Lanza, 20, lived with his mother, Nancy Lanza, and shot her to death before the school killings. It’s about 5 miles from the school, which has been demolished as part of the plan to build a new building on the same property. Adam Lanza killed himself at the school as police arrived.

Nancy Lanza’s property remains tied up in probate court proceedings. After her death, it was turned over to her ex-husband, Peter Lanza, and their other son, Ryan, according to court documents. Town records show the 3,200-square-foot colonial home and 2-acre property has an appraised value of about $524,000.

Lawyers in the probate case didn’t immediately return messages Wednesday seeking comment.

“There really is nothing we can do,” Barahona said. “The estate is in probate and it’s likely to be there for years to come. I also imagine there would be lawsuits against the estate at some point.”

There have been no talks among town officials about buying the property or doing anything with it, First Selectman Pat Llodra’s office said.

The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation has about $4 million left after giving more than $7 million to the 40 families most affected by the shootings.

The foundation recently approved $200,000 in spending. That includes $75,000 for out-of-pocket mental health costs for families, $75,000 for a “financial needs fund” for those affected by the shootings, $40,000 for public education and training on how to respond to signs of trauma and other mental health concerns, and $10,000 for community-wide educational programming.

By Wicked Local/Malden

Michael Richards (left) recently donated $1,500 to a local charity, as payment for a long-overdue library book. Also in the photo are Housing Families Community Outreach Coordinator Patty Kelly, Malden Public Library Director Dora St. Martin, Mayor Gary Christenson COURTESY PHOTO


Malden, Mass. — Editor’s Note: The following is a release from the office of Mayor Gary Christenson:

WickedLocal/Malden reported recently stopped by Mayor Gary Christenson’s office to return a book that he borrowed from City Hall back in 1982 when he was a sixth-grader at the old Beebe Junior High.

His assignment was to write a report on the history of Malden. He stopped by City Hall and asked a staff member if there was a book he could borrow and was handed “Malden from Primitive Past to Progressive Present” with the agreement that he would return it when he finished his report.

A 1988 graduate of Malden High School, Michael moved out of Malden in 1996 but his mother recently found the book and remembered the deal he had made with the gentleman at City Hall.

“I called the Library and learned that the late fee is 10 cents daily with a maximum of $5,” said Michael. “Without the cap, the daily charge for 31 years adds up to $1,131.50 – I decided to round it up to $1,500 and make a donation to Housing Families.”

Additionally, Michael informed the mayor that Commonwealth Mortgage recently received MassHousing approval, which enables Commonwealth Mortgage to offer affordable, fixed-rate, home loan products for low and moderate-income homebuyers. The loans have low down payment options and competitive interest rates.

“I thank Michael Richards for remembering people in his hometown of Malden and giving back to families at risk,” said Housing Families Community Outreach Coordinator Patty Kelly. “These funds will help support programs which enable us to move forward with our mission of ending family homelessness. We are most appreciative of his generosity.”

“This is great news all around,” said Mayor Christenson. “We have our book back, Housing Families received a generous donation and Commonwealth Mortgage is better able to help residents buy homes in Malden. I also thank Michael for his continued support of our City.”

For more information about Commonwealth Mortgage visit: or call Michael Richards at 781-404-2507. For more information about Housing Families visit

The Chronicle of Philanthropy releases donation report
Mark Zuckerberg Facebook at 10

CNN, Facebook, Techcrunch,

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — From Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to a “secret millionaire,” the country’s 50 biggest donors were far more generous last year.

This crew donated a total of $7.7 billion in 2013, 4% more than in 2012, according to a new report from The Chronicle of Philanthropy. That brought the median donation to $86.1 million, up from $49.6 million in 2012.

Why so generous? The Chronicle credits last year’s improving economy and booming stock market for the surge in donations.

Of all the donors, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan were by far the most generous. The couple donated nearly $1 billion worth of Facebook stock, or 18 million shares, to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The massive gift made the organization, which provides grants to a variety of nonprofits, one of the biggest foundations in the country.

Zuckerberg and his wife (who are 29 and 28 years old, respectively) were also the youngest donors on The Chronicle’s list, which had a median age of 72.

The second largest contribution was a $750 million bequest from George Mitchell, a billionaire known for pioneering the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” He died in July at the age of 94.

Those funds will support the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, which provides grants for clean energy, natural gas sustainability and other environmental projects. One of the foundation’s main goals is to prevent environmental damage from the technology that Mitchell himself created, the Chronicle stated.

Other top donations included Nike co-founder Phil Knight’s $500 million to the Oregon Health & Science University Foundation for research on the early detection of deadly cancers and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who gave $452 million to a variety of arts, education, environment and public health nonprofits.

Meanwhile, few people knew how wealthy one of the top donors was until his death at the age of 98 last year. Dubbed a “secret millionaire” by media reports, Jack MacDonald was a thrifty former lawyer in the Seattle office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs who left behind $139 million in 2013. MacDonald earned his millions by investing the proceeds from the sale of his father’s meat company.

His will split his money among the Seattle Children’s Hospital, University of Washington School of Law and the Salvation Army, which had no idea that the gift was coming.

“The Salvation Army didn’t know at all,” said Chronicle editor Stacy Palmer. “They only knew him as a donor who gave $20 at a time.”

Philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett were noticeably absent from the top 50 donor list, which is based on new financial commitments made in a given year. It does not track gifts that donors’ foundations make using past commitments so as to not count the same money twice.

Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge campaign has been credited with inspiring philanthropy among other billionaires. The Chronicle notes that 19 of 2013’s top 50 donors have signed the pledge.

The majority of the donations came from California ($2.8 billion) and New York ($1.6 billion) residents, while other large donations came from Texas, Oregon and Washington state residents.

Colleges and universities were the biggest winners, receiving $2.6 billion or roughly a third of all donations. Foundations received another $2.1 billion, while hospitals and medical centers, museums and library groups and human service groups were among the other recipients.


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