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Here’s how United Way of South Hampton Roads plan on distributing funds to mass shooting victims’ families

Virginia Beach residents visit a memorial outside of Building 11 dedicated to the 12 victims lost in the Municipal Center shooting. (Southside Daily/Lucretia Cunningham)
Virginia Beach residents visit a memorial outside of Building 11 dedicated to the 12. (Southside Daily/Lucretia Cunningham)

VIRGINIA BEACH — After the tragic events on May 31 left grieving families in a state of uncertainty as they attempt to move forward, the community stepped in — and stepped up — to contribute more than $3.5 million to the “Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund.”

Kelsey Mohring, a spokeswoman for United Way of South Hampton Roads, wrote in a news release the organization has determined how that money will be distributed to the victims’ families,”16 people in all.”

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Once the families verify their information and provide the “permission needed to ensure funds distribution to the correct individuals,” they’ll receive an initial $25,000.

After that, the remainder of the funds will be distributed based on need,” Mohring wrote.

According to the news release, the organization’s priority to cover the funeral expenses for all 12 victims was fulfilled with a $500,000 donation from TowneBank.

The organization has been tracking the date and origin of each donation in a software system and will divvy out 100 percent of the funds to cover costs like “offsetting lost income, children education funds, or medical bills.”

“[The software] will show all dollars in and all dollars dispersed with supporting documentation audited by Wall, Einhorn and Chernitzer,” Mohring said.

United Way of South Hampton Roads has partnered with an experienced attorney and victims’ advocate, Jeffrey Breit, who has offered to help with the distribution and need determination process at no cost.

Within days after the mass shooting at Building 2, the city partnered with United Way of South Hampton Roads to set up a fund specifically for those affected by the event.

In the weeks since, the community has come together to create “VBStrong” T-Shirts, vinyl stickers, bracelets, and more to support families through the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund.

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Mohring said, “the fund will remain open as long as it is actively receiving donations.”

To contribute to the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund, click here, or text VABEACH to 41444.

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