Woodmore Fund begins to help families affected by fatal bus crash in Chattanooga

Woodmore Fund begins to help families affected by fatal bus crash in Chattanooga

December 9th, 2016 by Kendi A. Rainwater in Local Regional News

Teddy bears, mementos, and balloons have been placed at the site of a fatal school bus crash on Talley Road on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The makeshift memorial to victims of the Monday crash, which killed 6 Woodmore Elementary students and injured dozens more, has grown since the road was reopened Tuesday.

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

Gallery: In the wake of the fatal bus crash, Chattanooga stands strong

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To give to the fund

GIVE BY CHECK

Checks can be made payable to the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga with "The Woodmore Fund" in the memo. Checks can be dropped off or mailed to:
Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga
Attn: Woodmore Fund
1270 Market Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402

Checks can also be made payable to United Way of Greater Chattanooga with "The Woodmore Fund" in the memo. Checks can be dropped off or mailed to:
United Way of Greater Chattanooga
Attn: Woodmore Fund
630 Market Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402

GIVE BY PHONE
Text Woodmore to 91999 or call 2-1- 1 (423-265- 8000)

GIVE ONLINE
Give online at hcde.org/woodmore.

The Woodmore Fund is beginning to distribute money to the families affected by the fatal bus crash on Nov. 21.

More than 2,000 people across the country have donated to the fund for Woodmore Elementary School families, which is a coordinated effort between the Community Foundation and the United Way of Greater Chattanooga. The fund has received more than $200,000 in donations since the crash. 

"The Fund represents a gift of love from members of our community and people around the country to the families," said Lakweshia Ewing, spokesperson for the Woodmore Fund and Community Foundation board member. "No amount of money can ever compensate for the trauma each family is suffering. Instead, gifts from the Fund are one of the many ways our whole community is reaching out to demonstrate love and offer support."

The immediate families of the children involved in the accident will receive a disbursement from the fund after they have completed required paperwork, according to a statement from the Woodmore Fund.  

The Fund's committee consulted with national disaster and relief fund experts to understand best practices for distributing gifts.

"Most important of all, the Woodmore Fund committee has worked, and continues to work, very closely with church leaders and Woodmore community leaders to ensure the most appropriate approach to distributing gifts from the Fund to the families," said Lakweshia Ewing, in the statement. 

People are also working with each family to support them through this process, according to Community Foundation President Maeghan Jones. 

"Our community's outpouring of love and support for the families is tremendous," Jones said in a statement. "Beyond gifts made to the Fund, dozens of organizations across the Chattanooga area are working closely to offer as many resources as possible to the families to help them through this difficult time."

Foundations, nonprofits and local businesses are also working collectively to offer help the families with any immediate needs as well as longer-term support, including counseling and financial advising, the release states. 

The fund will continue collecting funds through the end of the year, with plans for a second distribution prior to the holidays.

Gallery: School bus crash victims

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