Dedicated to

We have been at the forefront of helping to build resilience in communities around the world since 2004.

As a result of our recognized experience and expertise, there have been significant demands for our help closer to home. We have refocused our key disciplines here in the US to most in need:

  1. School children, their families and teachers who remain amidst an environment of growing fear, lockdown drills, bullying and other traumatizing presences.
  2. Caregivers and Emergency Personnel dealing with the tragic effects of poverty, homelessness, chronic illnesses and the opioid crisis.

To support our efforts to serve we have devoted much needed resources to adding capacity at all levels of our organization, including our Board of Directors, where we have doubled in size and greatly expanded our geographic reach. This commitment is reinforced by increasing our pool of qualified trainers and the development of cutting edge digital training materials.

Our programs support those with whom we work directly while creating a ripple effect, ultimately forging broader communities built on resilience and compassionate care.

Download the PDF version of the 2018 Donor Report.

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Dear Second Response friends,

2017 was quite a year for our organization and I want to first thank you for your support which has enabled us to reach so many children, teachers, parents and caregivers.

After thirteen years of dedicated work around the world in helping communities build resiliency in the face of very real trauma, we have now established a proven methodology that truly makes a difference in so many lives. We have made every effort to keep our focus on doing what we know best and are steadily building capacity so our work can benefit many more in the year ahead. First, we added recognized leaders in education, finance, curriculum development and capacity building to our Board of Directors resulting in a broader geographic reach which will help us strategically focus our growth.

Fortunate Blessings Foundation and Second Response has gained a solid foothold with our School Resiliency Program and we are truly at the tipping point in our efforts to help children, families, school teachers and emergency personnel defeat the very real traumas facing everyone at this intense time in society.

This year Fortunate Blessings Foundation has provided vital support to a wide range of caregivers including EMS personnel, homeless shelters and hospital groups focused on children. In particular, the opioid crisis has hit Connecticut children and families -- indeed all of America -- very hard. Three people a day die in Connecticut from opioid overdoses and last year more people died in America from opioid overdoses than died in every military conflict since 1955 combined. Our programs enable caregivers to more effectively cope with the unbelievable challenges they face every day. We will expand this effort in 2018.

We now face an immediate challenge to identify and train staff and faculty in our specialized methodology to support schools, emergency personnel and caregivers struggling with the dramatic increase of trauma in our daily lives. We expect to conduct two more trainings in 2018.

We have kept our overhead to a bare minimum while our eyes are on efficiency and training to build capacity as we scale our important programs with only very limited administrative and maintenance costs. We are grateful to all those who’ve helped us through their generosity.

To all our extended worldwide family of supporters, we join again in partnership in 2018 for your ongoing support and wish you health, happiness and Fortunate Blessings.



Download the PDF version of the 2018 Donor Report to view the full list of the Board of Directors.



“Three EMS workers, infant hospitalized after exposure during overdose call”

“Children of the opioid epidemic are flooding foster homes. America is turning a blind eye”

“Opioid Epidemic Strains Hospital Emergency Departments”

“We’re Raising a Generation: Grandparents of Children Orphaned By Opioid Crisis Say They Need Help”

“America’s opioid crisis: how prescription drugs sparked a national trauma”

“As the opioid epidemic grows, paramedics feel the weight of tragedy”

“Lethal drugs threaten lives of local first responders; police make changes”

“Boston-area paramedics on front lines of US opioid crisis”

“Grieving Parents: He was more than his addiction”

“An E.R. Kicks the Habit of Opioids for Pain”

“Recovery coaches help opioid addicts stay clean after treatment”

“4 West Virginia women deal hope in a community gripped by opioid crisis”

“U.S. Surgeon General says working together is key to combating opioid crisis”

How can you help

More American died just last year as a result of the opioid crisis than in every single conflict we have fought in since 1955 including Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq — and casualty rates among young and old in our neighborhoods are still rising.


The trauma confronting children, families, teachers and caregivers is unlike anything we have ever seen. Second Response is receiving requests from all over the country for help. These requests are coming from EMS personnel, schools and homeless shelters.

We must train as many people as possible in our unique methodology, using a combination of online teaching tools and videos with intensive personalized instruction. Please consider an immediate donation to support this urgent effort.

“The opioid epidemic is ravaging families and damaging communities. It is destroying an entire generation of Americans weighed down by the burden of grief and shame that accompanies addiction. From 1999 to 2015, more than 183,000 people died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids. In CT alone, more than three people die every day because of insufficient resources and a multitude of barriers to treatment. The Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation is proud to support Second Response and all the incredible work they do for EMS Personnel, Homeless Shelter staff, Children and Caregivers.”

Julia H. Scharnberg, Grants and Program Director Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation





“At School Where Student Died, Bullying Led to a Suicide Attempt”

“Suicide of 12-year-old Pennsylvania boy Evan Ziemniak ‘was his response to stop the pain’ of bullying ”

“Authorities say a planned massacre at a New Bedford, Mass., high school could have been another Columbine”

“Suicide of girl aged 13 bullied for being 6ft”

“Student Charged With Manslaughter in Bronx School Stabbing”

“3 Killed in New Mexico School Shooting”

“Since 2013 there have been nearly 300 school shootings in America - an average of about one a week”

“Northern California Gunman Killed Wife Before Shooting Rampage”

“Youth suicide rates are rising. School and the Internet may be to blame.”



“This program should be in every school. It helps teachers and their students connect in new and fun ways that help when stress or personal trauma enter the classroom.”
— Jaye Stuart, Health & Physical Education Staff at Shepaug Valley High School in Washington, CT
“To help children find their way physically, socially and spiritually in this world that we live in is vital to their growth and development. PLAYshops have specially designed physical exercises that are grounded in theater training, biopsychology and somatic research to help children do just feel safe and find JOY!”
— Helen Treacy, Principal at St. Matthew’s Elementary in Bristol, CT
“At first, my staff was skeptical of the program. The methodology Second Response teaches is nothing like they have ever encountered before. However, after the full day of PLAYshops with each class, everyone loved it and felt calm and relaxed afterward.”
— Eric Frenette, Principal at St. Joseph’s Elementary in Bristol, CT

School Resiliency Program


Many schools now have assigned uniformed and armed resource officers, and all have bomb threat protocols and lockdown drills. One of every four students reports being bullied during the school year with associated negative impacts on their academic, emotional, social and physical well-being. there are also new guidelines for suicide prevention in response to 16% of students nationwide who seriously consider suicide. The accumulation of stress and trauma our children experience is daunting.

Schools are the center of communities and teachers are on the front line of every issue that arises each and every day for our children. The responsibility of schools to prepare our children for the future has never been greater, yet nearly half of K-12 teachers report high daily stress during the school year. Teachers are focused not only on their students’ academic success but on their safety and social-emotional development as well. School districts have begun to implement social emotional curriculum after realizing the urgent need for better tools to address the unparalleled rise in trauma exposure our children now face.


Faculty work around the world

Gina de la Chesnaye is part of our Caring for the Caregivers program and has led numerous PLAYshops in Nepal, Uganda and the U.S. She brings her experience as a teacher with The Lineage Project and as Yoga Director for The Three Jewels in NYC. Gina is also the Trauma Resource Director for the International Center for Mental Health and Human Rights. Dedicated to humanitarian relief, she has spent many years focusing on trauma and resiliency work with children in orphanages, schools and refugee camps using movement, yoga and meditation techniques. Gina now brings her extraordinary expertise to support caregivers to mitigate the impact of secondary trauma on their professional and personal well-being.

“It is my feeling that the trip was incredibly productive having worked with hundreds of children and youth as well as nearly 150 caregivers. I am very hopeful to be able to return and do a longer training with the African Youth Initiative Network as they have a staff of 35 and to work for longer periods of time with the Red Cross at Imvepi as well as the children. Thank you for your belief, support and funding.”
— Gina
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In gratitude from second response

We recognize all of those who honored our organization with gifts in 2017 to help us accomplish our mission to support children and caregivers!


Riad Aamar

Aroon Ajmera

Amazon Smile Foundation

Kimberly Ambrose


Arbella Insurance Group

Lorelei Atwood

Loren Axberg

Jennifer and John Bauman

Caren Bayer

Sally Bentley

Elaine Bentley Baughn

Louise Berliner

Elena Bielawski

Francisco Borges

Jennifer Botwick

Bragg Health Institute

Schuyler Brown

Henry Bruce

Kane Clawson

Katie Coleman

The Community Foundation
    of Northwest Connecticut

Clifford Cooper

Cornerstone Agency

David Dillon

Gail DiMaggio

Lauren Ernberg

Toni Farkas

Tracy Fincher

Dorothy Fincher

Robert Fiondella

Nian Fish

Megan and Lawrence Foley

Foundation for Life

Annette French

Stuart Fried

Joel Friedman

Sarah Gager

Anna and Ardian Gill

Ellen Goldsmith

Emily Gordon

Roger Green

Marc Guenette

Gabriel de Haan

Martha Hackett

Shellie Halper

Teresa Hargrave

Virginia Harper

Jean Hernandez

Holistic Health and Healing

Anthony Holland

Irene Imfeld

Karen Frey Jacobs

Maurice Jennings

Edward and Lucille Kimmel

Peter Kelly

Claudia Kirchmayr

Michael Klapper

Rosamond Koether

Pamela Kohlberg
    and Curt Greer

Robert Labonne III

Stephen Lapenta

Thomasina Levy

Palmer Marrin

Deborah McKinnon

James McWilliams

Northwest Connecticut
    Community Foundation

Holly Pedrini

Michael Pendley

Annika Pettit

Tania Philipp

Sandy Pukel

Cynthia Rabinowitz

Elaine and Christopher          Robedee

Robert Wood Johnson            Foundation

Dottie Roseboom

Chris Sacca

Nina Sankovitch

Tara Sankovitch

Elizabeth Schwinn

Lisa Silverman

Joan Spear

Josh Spear

Rosemary Stark

Gisela Stehr

Wendy Steinbaum

Shepard Stevens

Elise Stone

Tracy and Timothy Stuart

Deborah Szekely

Szekely Family

Marlene and William Tara

Peter Termars

James Tyler

Karen Urban

Vivian Van Bladel

Thomas Vannini

Elizabeth Vega

Karla Walter

Leigh Warre

Denny Waxman

Weeden Foundation

Victoria Weisfeld

Katherine Welch

Margaret Wolff

Lorraine Wulfe

Chad Yonker

Doris Zollinger