Building Resilient Communities Near and Far




Second Response trainings have brought hope and resilience to over 5,000 front line care providers

“You can rebuild the infrastructure and the school buildings, but unless the inner landscape of the children is attended to, any recovery effort will fail.”
— Educator | Training for a Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security

We are building capacity for year-round PLAYshop trainings with schools, hospitals and first responders. 


      Across the globe

At home in the U.S

  • Aided thousands of children affected by the earthquakes in Nepal
  • In partnership with Threshold Globalworks, trained over 300 Nepalese health, education and NGO professionals in PLAYshop methodology and self-regulation strategies
  • Trained dedicated Red Cross staff and volunteers at a refugee encampment in Croatia
  • Trained community members and social-service professionals in London for pre-emptive disaster preparation 


Delivering Joy to Children Affected by Trauma 

Worldwide natural disasters are occurring on average almost once a day.  In 2015, in the U.S., mass shootings happened on average more than once a day.  After experiencing a traumatic event, 1 out of 6 children will display symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ("PTSD"). 

The front line for disaster preparedness resides in every community – and the need for effective methods of trauma relief is increasing dramatically. 

In 2015, Second Response continued to roll out our unique PLAYshops for children impacted by traumatic events.  Led by our highly trained faculty of health care professionals and counselors, PLAYshops encourage spontaneous release of stored energy in the form of noise-making and self-expression that help children of all ages to expel fear, anger and grief from their bodies.

“I have beautiful memories now. New brothers and sisters.  Thank you for coming from so far away.” — Student | Post-earthquakes, Nepal

"Before this, I was not able to sleep so much, but after, I do really feel so much better." — Student | Post-earthquakes, Nepal

“It was difficult seeing the children studying outside in tents with their hearts still scared and vigilant, hoping there will be no more earthquakes.”  After the PLAYshop she added, “I loved seeing them laugh and smile and be themselves.” — A PLAYshop team member | Post-earthquakes, Nepal

Providing relief for frontline caregivers

Across the country first responders and caregivers are often overworked and overwhelmed by their own secondary trauma.  The reach and impact of compassion fatigue is still not fully understood; however, it is apparent how much it can affect those who deal with trauma and crisis on a daily basis.


Our Caring for the Caregiver program supports trauma teams at hospitals and universities and other care providers exposed to recurring stress and trauma.  Participants learn better ways to manage their own secondary trauma and compassion fatigue and better serve those for whom they care.

Second Response also offers PLAYshop trainings for first responders, hospital staff, educators, and caregivers, preparing participants to organize and deliver effective PLAYshops for children of all ages as a component of their disaster response.

“It reminded us that we also have to take care of ourselves in this difficult situation.  We feel rejuvenated and hopeful.” — Red Cross worker | Refugee Camp, Croatia
“It was a healing experience for many of us; an opportunity to shed some of the heavy burden we carry, holding the traumatic experiences of others.” — Clinician | Charlotte Hungerford Hospital | Torrington, Connecticut
“It was the best class we ever took… afterward it seemed like the weight of the world was off our shoulders.” — FEMA Coordinator | Training for a Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security

Reach and Impact

AP banner end.jpg

The proven therapeutic value of Second Response’s methods of play, externalization and self-expression are just beginning to be recognized by relief agencies, hospitals and caregivers.  

The Caring for the Caregiver programs and PLAYshop trainings are teaching dedicated front line care providers ways to care for themselves, and giving them new, effective methodologies to help their communities after exposure to trauma.

Through these training programs, Second Response is expanding the reach of our groundbreaking PLAYshop methods exponentially into 2016.  

Letter from the Board Chair

Dear Second Response Friends, 

In 2015, thanks to you, Second Response touched the lives of even more children and their families exposed to trauma.  We also began to roll out our training programs for dedicated caregivers in our communities. 

For more than a decade in places all over the world, our teams have responded to disasters as a part of recovery efforts.  In recent years we have seen that more frequent natural disasters, shootings, suicides, bullying, and bomb scares are contributing to a general state of anxiety, especially for vulnerable populations like our children.  We recognized that our methodologies could help build the capacity of our front line caregivers who face the violence and trauma that is so pervasive in our world today.

We have collaborated with FEMA and local caregivers to conduct PLAYshop trainings, including strategies for self-regulation that provide first responders, hospital staff, counselors, educators and parents with highly effective trauma relief tools for the communities they serve.  Our programs help these committed caregivers to manage the secondary trauma they take on themselves.  Programs already underway and those in development in crisis centers, schools, and hospital settings in the Northeastern United States are only the beginning. 

This represents the fulfillment of a shift in focus to domestic programming that began in 2014.  Today, we remain prepared to respond to disaster events wherever they may occur but we are also pre-emptively tending to caregivers, building resilient communities to be better prepared to care for children and their families after traumatic events.

We are grateful to you – our donors, caregiver partners, volunteers and staff – for your incredible support.  Together, we have made a difference in strengthening our communities. Together, we are Second Response.

- Martha Hackett, M.D.

Thank you!


With gratitude, we recognize all of those who honored our organization with gifts in 2015 to help us accomplish our mission to support children and caregivers around the world! 



Leslie Klein                                               
Steve Lapenta                                          
Gina Lazenby                                          
Ida Lease                                                    
Dr. Arnold Leff                                        
Eileen and Peter Litwin
Loretta Lombardi
John Mannion
Anne Mansfield
Sonia Marantz-Greenberg
Leslie McEachern
Deborah McKinnon
Grace McKnight
Melissa Merkling
Ann Marie Miles
Barbara Mittleman                          
Nancy Moore Gehman
Sheila Murphy
Terry Kessel Myers
Dawn Over
Lexi Parrott
Marlene and Michael Pendley
Barbara Pike
Tim Prue
Fred Pulver
Cynthia Rabinowitz
Suzanne Reed                                  
Lindsay Rice
Sheldon and Ginat Rice
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Dorothy Roseboom
Marsha and Fred Rueff
Catherine Schreiber Ruthberg
Elana Sabajon
Chris Sacca
Ingrid Schelberger
Pascalpal Seller
Lawson Shadburn
Dr. Aziz Shaibani
Stephanie Shrager
Rosalina Silva
Lisa Silverman
Dr. Robert Silverstein                    
Jeanne and Ken Sloane
Phil Smith
Taunia Snyder
Lorna Solis
Joshua Spear
Joan and William Spear
Rosemary Stark
Gisela Stehr
Wendy Steinbaum
Szekely Family Foundation
William Tara
Lynn Taylor
Kim Thich
Jeannie Tower
Miriam Tsao
Dr. James Tyler
Regine Urbach
Carine Van den Hauwe
Ellie and Rob Van Wyck
Yarilis Vazquez
Ma Antonieta Vite Diaz
Albert Volker
James Walsh
Karla Walter
Leigh Warre
Amy Webb
Gretchen Weiland
Victoria Weisfeld
Katherine Welch
Reba Wiedner
Mary Ann and Robert Wilkins
Meg Wolff
Lorraine Wulfe
Linda Yentob
Lynee Zarzycki
Doris Zollinger



Riad Aamar
Aroon Ajmera
Emily Altneu                                    
Amazon Smile Foundation
Lourenco Azevedo
Bauman Family Foundation
Mia Baumgarten
Susan Baumgarten
Caren Bayer
Andrea Beaman
Barbara Bell
John Benson
Sally Bentley
Louise Berliner
Marcia Berry
Katie Boland
Eileen Bridle
Stefan Brink
Rose Brooks
Simon Brown
Mr. and Mrs. Larry Buck
Michele Burdiak
Gabriele Butscher-Heil
Manu Butterworth
Pam Campanelli
Reda Charafeddine
Winne Chu                                                  
Pat Cliff and Karl Von Frieling        
Coleen Cooper                                                               Jeannine and Clifford Cooper
Cornerstone Agency
Donal Cox
Connecticut Community Foundation
Dr. Joel and Mrs. Racelle Cyprus
Vivian Dames
David de Rothschild
Margaret Demaree
Beverly DiCarlo
David John Dillon
Dee Dee Dochen
Susan Domelsmith
Crescent Dragonwagon
Susana Duarte Martins
Tamara Duhov
Suzanne Durbin
Kim Dutta
Edward and Lucille Kimmel Foundation
David Eigen
Susan Engel
Toni Farkas
Connie Fenty
Megan and Laurence Foley          
Karin Fredriksson                            
Stuart Fried
Foster Friess                                            
Get Safe Today LLC                            
Anna and Ardian Gill                    
Connie and Gil Gonzalez
Walter and Marcie Goodwin
Emily Gordon
Mark Graff
Sylvia Gray
Pam Kohlberg and Kurt Greer      
Marc Guenette
Stephanie Guterl
Planetary Health                          
Melanie Hedlund                                  
Anil Hemrajani
Jean Hernandez
Holistic Holiday at Sea
Lily and Anthony Holland
Janice Hylton                                        
Irene Imfeld
Maria Isabel                                        
Narcisse and Emmo Italiaander
Alex Jack
Maurice Jennings                              
David Kirk

If you would like to learn more about our work or support efforts, please review our website, consider donating or contact us directly at for more information.