Triumph Over Tragedy:

A Letter from the Board of Directors

The US saw the highest number of mass killings on record in 2019.   From concerts to movie theaters and night clubs to churches, mass shootings* have touched every community across America.  And we, the Board of Directors and the team at The Onsite Foundation are not unscathed.  

We work in offices with those suffering PTSD from Las Vegas’ Route 91 tragedy, we are parents whose children suffer extreme anxiety and nightmares from active shooter drills, we attend churches whose doors are protected by armed guards, and we have lost a significant other to addiction as a result of the trauma from one of the most popularized and highly covered mass shootings over 20 years ago.  

Since Sandy Hook, over 2,600 people have been killed and more than 9,700 have been wounded in mass shootings* and the ripple effects of these tragedies are felt far beyond the event – from the individuals affected, to families who have lost loved ones, to the first responders who serve these communities

We cannot sit silent any longer and that is why the Board made a unanimous decision to focus the Foundation’s efforts in 2020 on providing tools, resources, and best-in-class workshops to provide hope and healing to the ever-growing population of survivors of mass shootings during all phases of trauma.  Onsite Foundation is honored to announce our newest program Triumph Over Tragedy, which provides services to those who need them most, regardless of race, gender, sexual identity, or socio-economic status, and is funded by full scholarships.  

The workshop has been carefully curated with our partners at Onsite, who create transformational emotional health experiences through top-tier hospitality and culinary services and the best therapeutic and clinical minds in the country.

The clinicians and therapists have listened carefully to the Foundation’s Survivor Advisory Council, a six-person team comprised of mass shooting survivors representing the Columbine, Parkland, Thurston, Charleston, Las Vegas, and Aurora tragedies, to inform the modalities, experiences, and tools that will be offered during the program.  We are indebted to these individuals who have given their time and courageously shared their stories, and by doing so will allow others to tell theirs, connecting with each other in community and healing trauma’s invisible wounds.  

We believe wholeheartedly in continuous self-improvement, so we have enlisted an Advisory Council comprised of the best and brightest doctors, teachers, authors, researchers, therapists and clinicians, who will lend their expertise and voice to the Foundation’s continued efforts to support underserved communities and ensure all persons affected by trauma, abuse, stress, and mental health receive the gift of emotional freedom. 

We invite all who have been affected by, or have experienced the rippling trauma of mass shootings, to come as you are.  Bring your fear, your pain, your guilt, your shame, and take the first step towards healing. In order to heal your wounds, you must have the courage to face them.  Trauma changes your life in ways you don’t choose, but healing is about creating change you do choose.


“You are not a victim.  You are a survivor setting the world on fire with your truth.  And you never know who needs your light, your warmth and your raging courage.” – Alex Elle


You can, and you will, triumph over tragedy.

Signed,

The Onsite Foundation Board of Directors, Director, Staff & Volunteers

Board of Directors: Christiev Alphin, Michael Baum, John Huie, Laura Hutfless, John P. Kelly, Marion Kraft, Joey Lee, Troy Tomlinson

The Onsite Foundation Director: Deanna Wantz

* “mass shooting” defined as four or more killed, excluding the perpetrator

Data Sources: Database compiled by The Associated Press, USA TODAY and Northeastern University; GunPolicy.org.

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