UPDATE: Families begin collecting contributions from Woodmore Fu - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

WOODMORE BUS CRASH

UPDATE: Families begin collecting contributions from Woodmore Fund

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The remaining money collected for the families of the Woodmore bus crash was distributed Friday. More than two thousand people across the country donated to the fund for Woodmore Elementary School families. Donations totaling more than $200,000 have been collected since the tragedy. The fund is a coordinated effort between the Community Foundation and the United Way of Greater Chattanooga.

Members of the committee overseeing the fund did not want to release exactly how much money was collected for the families, but hope the community continues to support those affected.

“Local, regional, national all donated to this Woodmore Fund,” said the spokeswoman for the Woodmore Fund Lakweshia Ewing. Organizers said the money represents a gift of love for six families in the Chattanooga community. “One thing Chattanooga did extremely well was we showed up. We showed up regardless of where we lived, went to school, public or private schools, democratic or republican, none of that mattered. We were all here to support the families in our community when they needed it the most.”

The fund worked directly with the immediate custodial parents and guardians of the children involved in the crash. Its goal was to raise money for basic necessities and long term care. “Get support in mental health areas, areas in financial support or educational support, whatever they needed for their children.”

Donations were accepted until December 31st. The first wave of donations were split evenly between the 25 families of the children who were riding the bus. The second and final phase went to families who lost a child and the ones dealing with extensive hospital stays.
           
Now, the committee, solely created for the Woodmore Fund, will no longer manage it. However, fund organizers are hopeful the community will still be involved. “Continue the conversation about what the future looks like, what the future supports looks like and where do we go from here. Discussion in the coming days.”

Committee members hope the support for Woodmore never goes away. “Let us not forget the teachers, the administration of that school and definitely not forget the entire student body.”

If you want to donate to those affected by the bus tragedy, contact the United Way and they will direct you.


The Woodmore Fund is now distributing the community's contributions to families affected by the tragic bus crash.  

The crash happened less than three weeks ago. Six children were killed. Nearly two dozen were injured. Since then, the community raised more than $200,000 dollars.

The first wave of donations will be split evenly between the 25 families of the children who were riding the bus. The second phase will go to those families who lost a child and the ones dealing with extensive hospital stays.

"There is no value on death. There is no value on loss, trauma, sleepless nights. Hurt. Pain. Fear. There is no number we can offer for that," said Lakweshia Ewing, Woodmore Fund spokesperson.

Although nothing can erase what happened on Talley Road last month, the families with children on Bus 366 are now on the receiving end of some relief, after an outpouring of monetary donations from the community.

"Race didn't matter. Age. Gender. Political affiliation. Religious or non-religious affiliation. For once, I saw in this county, mankind. Humanity. Showing love for other humans who have lost," Ewing said.

More than 2,000 people and organizations contributed to the Woodmore Fund. The fund is working directly with the immediate custodial parents and guardians of the children involved in the crash.

Ewing is one of many on the front lines of support for devastated moms and dads.

"I've actually put my life on hold, and I'm a little teary, but for the last two-and-a-half, three weeks," she said, wiping away tears.

The process is hurtful yet humbling, Ewing said, showing the same love and support of a friend.

"Midnight phone calls (with) parents trying to process and trying to figure out what their next step is," Ewing explained. "Needing to relocate because of haunting memories. And just being able to move on with what we're calling life."

Donations to the Woodmore Fund will be accepted through the end of the year. You can help by clicking here.

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