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Ties to Sandy Hook Prompt Online Fundraising Effort

Ryan Kraft, a Hermosa Beach resident who once lived in Newtown, CT, and babysat a then 9-year-old Adam Lanza, has started an online fundraising effort to benefit the elementary school he once attended.

A Hermosa Beach resident who once babysat Adam Lanza, the man who on Friday killed 26 people in Newtown, CT, has started a donation drive for the school where the massacre occurred, collecting $87,548 as of 5:19 p.m. PST Monday.

Ryan Kraft, who once lived in Newtown, next door to the Lanza family, started the drive online on Crowdrise. According to the site, "Crowdrise partners with Network for Good to process all donations. Network for Good will send donations, less transaction fees, directly to PTSA Sandy Hook at the official address below. Donations made in December will be sent no later than January 15th."

People are asked on the site to propose ideas about how the funds should be used. Some ideas listed online are 

  1. Counseling for the survivors (children and families)
  2. Funeral expenses for affected families
  3. Scholarship fund supporting students at Sandy Hook Elementary

Kraft, who attended Sandy Hook Elementary, told KCAL9 he was instructed by Lanza's mom "to keep an eye on [Adam] at all times … to never turn my back, not even to go to the bathroom."

Kraft said he was about 14 or 15 years old when he babysat Lanza, who was then about 9 years old. Kraft said he remembered Lanza as being quiet and introverted.

“Whenever we were doing anything, like building Legos, or playing video games, he was always focused," Kraft said. "He was in his own world.”

"I'm just numb to it, I haven't really processed the fact that this happened right where I used to be, and that, 15 years ago, it could have been me," Kraft said in the interview.

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