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To see more of what we’ve accomplished in the last 5.5 years, watch our new "Who We Are" video.



  • October 2018: SHP has 6,200 volunteer Promise Leaders taking action and bringing Know the Signs programs to their communities, hosting information tables at events, meeting with lawmakers, taking advocacy actions like signing petitions and making calls to their legislators and more
  • September 2018: Over 15,000 schools signed up for our Start With Hello Call to Action Week
  • August 2018: We hit 3.5 million youth and adults trained in our Know the Signs programs at schools and youth organizations throughout the country
  • August 2018: To date, over 3,000,000 people have Made the Promise at
  • March 2018: SHP launched the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System (SS-ARS) and begins implementation in school districts around the country
  • March 2018: Written by Sandy Hook Promise, the STOP School Violence Act passes, opening up $100 million dollars over 10 years for schools to implement prevention programs like Know The Signs, anonymous reporting systems and other school safety improvements
  • March 2018: Launch of “The Other Side” PSA
  • February 2018: Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden speak with President Trump at the White House Listening Session on gun violence prevention and school safety in the wake of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida


  • December 2017: By the end of this year, over 1.5 million supporters have Made The Promise and we have over 2,400 Promise Leaders nationwide
  • December 2017: Launch of “Tomorrow’s News” PSA
  • December 2017: We honored Vice President Joe Biden at our inaugural winter benefit for his work in gun violence prevention
  • November 2017: Over 4,000 schools nationwide have implemented at least one of our Know The Signs programs
  • June 2017: SHP combines efforts with SAVE, Students Against Violence Everywhere, and has since successfully launched over 1,000 SAVE Promise Clubs in 47 states and the District of Columbia
  • Spring 2017: We partner with SOS Signs of Suicide to bring suicide prevention programming to schools and youth organizations around the country
  • January 2017: Over 1,000,000 people have Made The Promise and we have over 2,000 Promise Leaders nationwide


  • December 2016: Our PSA “Evan garners 100 million views across channels in a few weeks and introduces our Know the Signs prevention programs to millions of Americans online and on television
  • December 2016: SHP plays a pivotal role in the inclusion of mental health parity as part of the 21st Century Cures Act, one of the last bills President Obama signs while in office
  • November 2016: Over the course of this year, we train over 1,000,000 youth and adults in a Know The Signs program
  • February 2016: We launch Start With Hello, our social inclusion program, nationwide
  • January 2016: Following the December 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, Mark Barden introduces President Obama in January 2016 ahead of the president’s speech announcing new executive orders on gun violence prevention at the White House


  • December 2015: We trained over 350,000 youth and adults in at least one Know the Signs program at over 500 schools or youth organizations
  • December 2015: Over 580,000 supporters have Made The Promise
  • December 2015: Over 1,000 volunteer Promise Leaders are spreading awareness and implementing programs in their communities
  • Fall 2015: We enter our first district-wide partnership to bring our programs to Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida
  • April 2015: We partner with Dr. Dewey Cornell of the University of Virginia to bring Safety Assessment and Intervention programming to schools so they can better assess threats and have a team in place to provide solutions to threats and get students help


  • December 2014: SHP’s “Monsters Under the Bed” awareness video and “What They Left Behind” documentary reach over 1.9 million people, and 400,000 view Monsters
  • December 2014: Over 400,000 supporters have Made the Promise
  • November 2014: SHP helps pass a universal background check initiative in Washington State in 2014.
  • November 2014: SHP continues to pass and progress legislation in multiple states and helps pass federal legislation to improve the NICS system
  • November 2014: We launched Say Something nationwide in 2014, training youth to know the signs of someone in crisis and identify a trusted adult to say something to and get the person the help they need before a tragedy can occur



  • December 2013: 180,000 people Make the Promise to protect children from gun violence
  • Fall 2013:  SHP announces core purpose and actions, shifting from a policy focus to community-based prevention through programs and practices, education and awareness and changing “gun violence acceptance” attitudes & behaviors
  • Spring 2013: We lead passage of legislation in Delaware, Illinois and New Jersey and make progress in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire
  • Spring 2013: SHP progresses and helps gain the passage of sensible, comprehensive mental health & wellness and gun safety & access laws in Connecticut
  • Winter 2013: SHP launches comprehensive research to understand causes and enablers of gun violence and to identify real solutions, meeting with academics, medical professionals, law enforcement, gunowners and groups, educators and overall experts in the space of gun violence prevention
  • January 2013: SHP is founded and officially launched

Legislative Priorities

Gun violence is preventable and we're currently advocating for three main gun violence prevention policies to protect our children and communities. Please join us and call on your legislators to pass these life-saving bills!

Pass Model School Safety Policy

In the vast majority of incidents of school violence, students display many warning signs or signals before taking harmful action. We already have evidence-based programs that we know have helped stop multiple school shootings, suicides, and other acts of school violence. Sandy Hook Promise supports state and federal policy to require all schools to implement the following proven school safety programming to stop violence before it happens.

    • School Threat Assessment: Threat assessment teaches adults in schools and youth organizations how to identify, assess and respond to threats of violence or at-risk behavior BEFORE a tragedy takes place. Threat assessment not only addresses the threat itself but also helps identify and treat the underlying problem that led the youth to make the threat.
    • Student Safety and Violence Prevention Training: Students need training to recognize signs and signals, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others. They should also be encouraged and empowered to say something to a trusted adult BEFORE it is too late. This training should be required at least once a year in every school.
    • School Personnel and Student Suicide Prevention Training: Youth, educators and administrators must know how to identify, intervene and get help for youth who may be depressed or suicidal. Every school should be required to provide at least one hour of evidence-based suicide prevention training each year to both students and teachers.
    • Student Social Inclusion Training: Studies have shown that social isolation and loneliness can have a significant impact on students’ mental and physical health, academic performance, and peer relationships. By teaching students how to be more inclusive and connected to one another from a young age, we can create stronger school communities where marginalization and rejection are minimized, bullying is significantly reduced, and students’ mental wellness is optimized.
    • Anonymous Reporting Systems: Every state should establish a 24/7 anonymous reporting system that is free and accessible to all schools, parents, teachers, students, and administrators. When combined with training, it is a critical tool for ensuring everyone in the school ecosystem knows how to identify the warning signs of violence and that key information quickly gets to those who can help prevent harm.



Pass Extreme Risk Protection Orders

In the aftermath of a shooting incident, we often hear stories from friends or family members about the warning signs the shooter exhibited.

Extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs) empower family members and law enforcement agencies to prevent gun violence and gun-related suicides. Under such a law, family members and law enforcement officials can petition a court to temporarily separate at-risk individuals from firearms. If the judge finds the person poses a significant danger of injury to self or others, the judge will order that the firearms be temporarily placed in safe storage until the person receives the help they need.

Sandy Hook Promise supports legislation that enables family or friends to alert law enforcement to a potentially dangerous situation and gives law enforcement the tools and authority they need to remove firearms in the interest of public safety. This legislation can be passed at the state level, as it has been in Connecticut, California, Oregon, Indiana, Washington, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Congress can also take action at the federal level to require or incentivize state passage of these life-saving laws. If you live in a state without an ERPO law, contact your state and federal representatives and ask them to support ERPOs. If you live in a state with an ERPO, educate your family, friends, and neighbors about the law and how it can save a life.


Pass Background Checks

Background checks are a proven and critical tool to help keep guns out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves or others. Background checks help protect our children and communities. States with expansive background check laws have seen 52% fewer mass shootings¹, a 48% reduction in suicide deaths by firearm², and a 48% reduction in law enforcement death caused by gun violence³. By requiring that firearms be sold and transferred through licensed sellers and subject to background checks, we can prevent future tragedies. Sandy Hook Promise is proud to support legislation to strengthen our background checks system at the state and federal level to protect our children and communities from preventable gun violence.

With the support of millions of Promise Makers, Sandy Hook Promise has proudly helped lead the effort at federal and state level to strengthen our background checks system since our founding. We are closer than ever to passing universal background checks, but we need your help to build the votes to protect our children and communities from preventable gun violence. Call on your Representative and Senator to support universal background checks today.


[1] Everytown for Gun Safety. New Research: States with Background Checks Experience Fewer Mass Shootings. New York: Everytown for Gun Safety, 12 Nov. 2015. Online.
[2] Michael D. Anestis, Joye C. Anestis, “Suicide Rates and State Laws Regulating Access and Exposure to Handguns”, American Journal of Public Health 105, no. 10 (October 1, 2015): pp. 2049-2058.
[3] Everytown for Gun Safety. Latest Gun Violence Research: States With Background Checks Have Fewer Domestic Violence Homicides, Fewer Police Killed By Guns. New York: Everytown for Gun Safety, 16 January. 2015. Online.

Our Mission

Enact sensible laws, policies and regulations at a state and federal level in the areas of mental health & wellness and gun safety that result in the reduction of gun-related death and injury.


Our Board


549,380 acts of gun violence occur each year.

Promise Leader Responsibilities


What is a Promise Leader?

A Promise Leader is a committed supporter of Sandy Hook Promise’s mission and approach who is willing to go beyond activity at the individual level and bring Sandy Hook Promise programs to a larger audience within their community (that audience could be at a school, place of worship, civic organization, or other youth-oriented organization).

Each Promise Leader will look different depending on their area of interest, network, culture of the organization or institution, and the time they have available. Many of Sandy Hook Promise’s Promise Leader activities can be customized to meet the unique needs of your organization or institution and can be done in just a few hours a month.

Why Promise Leaders?

Sandy Hook Promise is supported by over 810,000+ individuals. These individuals support the work of Sandy Hook Promise by educating themselves on how to protect children from gun violence via in-home programs, sharing SHP news, responding to SHP digital requests and making personal donations. We are incredibly grateful for the work and support of these individuals.

To fulfill our mission, we must not only act within our homes and digitally, but also act “on the ground” within our communities. To do that, we need volunteer Promise Leaders who are committed to working with schools, colleges and universities, places of worship, workplaces, youth serving agencies, libraries or community centers, nonprofit organizations and community or civic groups to help build awareness and help deliver our prevention programs.  

What is my role and responsibility as a Promise Leader?

Promise Leaders agree to implement a Sandy Hook Promise Prevention Program or organize a Sandy Hook Promise Awareness Building Activity within their organization or community at least 2-3 times each calendar year. This could include:

  1. Raising awareness and engaging new Sandy Hook Promise supporters to help protect children from gun violence through:
    • Organizing small or large events that educate members of your community about Sandy Hook Promise, such as house-party discussions, round-table talks and tabling events at community resource fairs.
    • Creating and delivering online and social media campaigns that build our movement by growing the number of new Promise Makers by asking them to Make the Promise to protect children from gun violence.
    • Recruiting others from your organization or community to become Promise Leaders and help you organize awareness building events or implement Sandy Hook Promise programs.
  2. Empowering and educating others within your community on the seemingly simple, yet powerful actions they can take to prevent gun violence and protect children through:
    • Bringing a Sandy Hook Promise program, such as Youth Mental Health First Aid or Say Something to their school, youth serving organization, or other community institution or organization.
    • Approaching and engaging parents, schools and other community-based organizations and asking them to bring a Sandy Hook Promise program to their home or organization.
    • Engaging local media in promoting and supporting Sandy Hook Promise programs and mission.
  3. When needed (and if you choose), help support policy change that compliments our programs by:
    • Identifying, developing and/or supporting existing sensible policy.
    • Advocating for county, state and/or federal sensible policy change.
    • Raising awareness, engaging others, helping make calls to community members, visiting with/calling legislators.

How will Sandy Hook Promise support you as a Promise Leader?

By signing up to become a Promise Leader, you will join Promise Leaders from across the United States working to protect their communities and children from gun related tragedies. Sandy Hook Promise will provide you with resources, training, support, and recognition.

When you sign up as a Promise Leader with Sandy Hook Promise, you will receive:

  • A downloadable Promise Leader toolkit to assist you in implementing your chosen prevention program or awareness building activity. The toolkit includes materials, tip sheets and sample tools to help you get started.
  • Access to a private, online Sandy Hook Promise Leader group where you can share ideas, get advice, and connect with other Promise Leaders across the county.
  • Monthly informational and educational email newsletters.
  • Invitations to join occasional training related conference calls and webinars with other Promise Leaders across the country.
  • Invitations to attend Sandy Hook Promise meetings and events in your area.
  • Recognition via Promise Leader certificates and the sharing of your success stories and activities via the Sandy Hook Promise website, newsletters and social media.


Get Involved


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    Advocate for state and federal policy changes in the areas of mental wellness and gun safety.

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    Help us raise awareness, educate and engage individuals and communities on causes of and solutions to preventing gun violence.



Our mission is simple: to prevent gun violence against children. Your donations will help us continue to work towards achieving this mission.  

Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund is a 501(C)(4) tax-exempt public charity. Your donation is not tax deductible and goes toward policy and non-policy campaigns to prevent gun violence.

Donate to the Action Fund

You Can Help Us Achieve More

The SHP Community Fund is a restricted fund dedicated solely to the Newtown community. It is needs based – requiring individuals and/or C3 organizations to request assistance from SHP. SHP will also develop programs with funding as needed. No fees and/or administrative costs are taken from this fund.

Donate to the Community Fund

Our Team

Sandy Hook Promise is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School and a talented staff of seasoned professionals: