We neglected to report this when it happened as we were pretty burned out on Pulse shooting news, but the OneOrlando fund and the Equality Florida GoFundMe campaign fund merged recently. The merger not only consolidates the now $20 million raised for victims of the Pulse shooting, but offers greater oversight. Oversight that has now led to the beginning of a plan for distribution of funds.
The plea for additional donations came as OneOrlando Fund administrators laid out a compensation plan that would give the largest sums to the families of the 49 people killed in the June 12 shootings, and increasingly smaller amounts to individuals who were hospitalized, those treated as outpatients and people who were in the club at the time of the attack but escaped physical injury.
The exact amount each person will get will depend on the fund’s total on Sept. 26 — the day before payments are scheduled to begin — as well as the severity of injuries and how many total claims are filed. Claimants will have to provide law-enforcement or hospital records in an effort to prevent fraud, officials said.
Perhaps I’m just a bitter young hag, but does anyone else find it odd that the families of the victims will receive the largest cut?
See also: “Victims and their families are left with a new reality and a multitude of needs, from long-term mental-health counseling, the rehabilitation of homes and vehicles to better accommodate the victims … and even victims who must find new jobs or careers because they have difficulty returning to their former jobs,” said Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer.
The fund’s top administrator is a name you may recognize. Kenneth Feinberg previously oversaw the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, as well as funds for those impacted by the BP Deepwater Horizon accident and the Boston Marathon bombing.
He is cautious, though, in telling interested parties not to expect much in the form of gratitude from recipients of the funds.
Feinberg warned the prominent community members who’ve been tapped to serve on the OneOrlando Fund board of directors — from major business leaders to representatives from the gay and Latino communities — that they should not expect any compensation, reimbursement or even gratitude.
“Do not expect any appreciation. It will not happen,” he said. “We are dealing with very vulnerable citizens who have been the victims of a tragedy that they had no idea was coming. And we have learned over the years that the best you can hope for is silence as people accept whatever financial help they can receive.”
Feinberg says the families of the 49 victims will receive the same amount of money “since trying to decide the value of one life over another would create a logistical nightmare” and will have the freedom to use their payout however they choose. Survivors injured in the attack will likely be given varied amounts based on the extent of their injuries.
Claimants have until September 12th to file a claim.