NEWTOWN, Conn.—Credit unions are standing by, and collecting money, to help the families and town of Newtown recover from the tragic shootings that took place in this small New England community. But it may be a while before it's time to actually step in and offer assistance.
Tony Emerson, president of the CU League of Connecticut, told Credit Union Journal that families of the victims are requesting that no assistance be given yet. "Right now the families are very sensitive. I understand, I have two kids and I would not want to talk to anyone now. Newtown is 25 minutes from the league's offices in Meriden, and we know it well. It's a tight-knit community and you can hardly walk down Main Street now with CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox News and more on hand with all their big satellite trucks."
But the league has received numerous calls today from people pledging money to back league efforts to support Newtown. "A foundation in Pennsylvania, for example, is sending us several thousand dollars," said Emerson. "So we have decided to set up an account through the league's Connecticut Charitable Foundation to accept donations on behalf of the victims."
The league hosts the Connecticut Charitable Foundation, but it is an independent, autonomous entity, empahsized Emerson, who said the trustees of the foundation will work with the governor's office to determine where the funds will go.
Meanwhile, there are five credit unions, most SEG-based or community chartered, connected with the town, and all have been discussing what, if anything, they can do. "But right now there is nothing they are being asked to do," said Emerson.
When the time comes and a town that is suffering through a tragedy that ended the lives of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School is ready for assistance, "The league, credit unions, and our charitable foundation will be involved. And if we can we will take a leadership position in that effort," said Emerson.