How To Help: GoFundMe Campaigns Set Up After Nova Scotia Mass Murders
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The 22 victims of Gabriel Wortman’s senseless killing spree in Nova Scotia last weekend are being mourned across Canada, and the families of those slain haven’t been forgotten either.
Compounded by the economic hardship due to COVID-19, six campaigns were quickly launched on the GoFundMe crowdfunding site to raise money to assist victims’ families with various funeral costs, and related needs, resulting in some cases from the destruction of property. Two of the campaigns have since merged.
Here’s a look at the five:
Nova Scotia Family of 3 Tragedy
Jolene Oliver, 39, her husband Aaron Tuck, 45, and their daughter Emily Tuck, 17, were killed in their home. They were originally from Alberta but moved to Nova Scotia, where Aaron’s late parents lived.
Tammy Oliver-McCurdle, Jolene’s sister, organized a fundraiser. The remaining family members live in Alberta and need to cover the costs of bringing the three victims back there, and to arrange memorials both in Alberta and Nova Scotia. All of this must be done in a province-to-province COVID-19 quarantine environment, which complicates matters.
A fundraising goal of $75,000 has been set and, as of the evening of April 22, 1,300 donors had contributed $62,269.
Any funds remaining after the late family’s personal affairs are taken care of, their remains are moved, and three memorials are held will be used to create The Emily Tuck Bursary for young girls who would like to get into trades. Emily was involved in a community trades program and was going to become an apprentice welder before her life was taken.
Support for Lisa McCullys Children
McCully was a teacher at Debert Elementary School in Debert, located about 20 minutes east of Portapique, where she lived across the street from Wortman and where the tragic events began.
The single mother was often seen around town with her two school-aged children, and her fondness for and interest in young people was further shown through her development of online learning plans for students after her school was closed due to COVID-19. McCully had previously been a vice-principal at another school before electing to return to teaching five years ago.
A fundraising goal of just one dollar was originally set, and it has been far surpassed. As of the evening of April 22, 181 donors had contributed $21,667.
Supporting Grieving Nova Scotia Families
Justin H and Kelsy H organized a fundraiser to collect money to support the 22 victims’ families so that they can respond immediately as the need arises.
“To make matters worse, many families are dealing with not only the loss of (at least) a loved one, but also the destruction of property,” it says on the fundraiser page.
“In the coming days, weeks, and months, the families of the victims will have many monetary needs, especially as we continue to struggle with the effects and limitations of COVID-19.”
Anyone who needs help, or who knows someone who does, are encouraged to reach out to the organizers through their GoFundMe page. More specific details will be provided regarding specific money use as beneficiaries are identified.
The fundraiser surpassed its original goal by raising more than $11,000 in less than 24 hours. The goal was increased to $25,000 and, as of the evening of April 22, 285 donors had contributed $13,588.
Supporting Families of the Nova Scotia Tragedy and Nova Scotia Strong – Support for Victims
“Our mission is to host an annual police escorted motorcycle ride to raise funds and awareness of the foundation's causes,” it says on the fundraising page.
“This includes helping families of fallen emergency service personnel, helping children who were victims of violent crimes, as well as working in conjunction with the Mikey Network to make public defibrillators more readily available to help save lives in our communities.”
The rides, which can stretch as long as four kilometres long, began 14 years ago. This year’s Atlantic Ride is scheduled for June 13 and 14 in Prince Edward Island.
The fundraiser has surpassed its $10,000 goal. As of the evening of April 22, 89 donors had contributed $11,058.
Adam Stiles, a Sackville, N.B. volunteer firefighter and full-time truck driver, organized a fundraiser in response to a request from truckers, their families and members of the Atlantic Canada Truckers Facebook group.
“We are a trucking community of over 5,000 Members who want to give back to the victims of this horrific tragedy,” it says on the fundraising page.
This campaign teamed up with Canada’s 911 Ride – Atlantic/Quebec on April 22. It had raised $5,380 of its $20,000 goal from 98 donors up to that point.
Victims of Nova Scotia Shooting
Arthur Rekshta of Okotoks, Alta., a police officer with a wife and three young sons, organized a fundraiser because he’s seen how people struggle and what they go through after losing loved ones.
“I am planning to either contact a local fundraiser on good terms and donate all the raised funds to that group making sure to check the validity of the fundraiser or depends on the amount raised, to work with the local community, authorities and deliver the funds to the families of the victims,” Rekshta wrote on his fundraising page.
“We live in a strong and beautiful country that does not have the place for violence and no person should go through such a tragedy.
“If you have it in your heart, I am asking you to stand together in these tough times for so many people that have been affected by this event and donate whatever you can to the victims and their families.
“The money will not help to bring the loved ones back or diminish the trauma, but it will definitely show our united love and support.”
A fundraising goal of $500,000 has been set and, as of the evening of April 22, 17 donors had contributed $1,235.
* Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.