Emanuel AME Church Members In Charleston Suspicious Of Donation Distribution Practices
Whenever donations start rolling in, there is the opportunity for a nefarious character to put their greedy lil’ fingers on a chunk of the dough.
The nation mourned last year when 9 innocent people were gunned down in cold blood. Over $3 million were raised for the victims’ families, and some of them are suspicious of how that money has been handled…
Emanuel AME Church distributed $1.5 million in donations this week to families of the nine victims and survivors of the horrific mass shooting on June 17 in its fellowship hall.
The church kept about $1.8 million of the donations it received from an international outpouring of sympathy after the deaths.
Church leaders have said the vast majority of donations sent to Emanuel AME didn’t specify where the money should go. Therefore, church leaders opted to give family members and survivors more than $1 million in addition to roughly $280,000 that donors specified for them.
Sounds good, however…
However, many family members were angered that the church kept more of the donations than it divided up among the nine families and five survivors.
“It’s just sad how the church continues to disrespect the families,” said the Rev. Sharon Risher, whose 70-year-old mother Ethel Lance died in the shooting.
Emanuel leaders will use the $1.8 million they retained for building maintenance needs along with an endowment, a memorial and scholarships. Another $78,000 specified for the city of Charleston Hope Fund will be sent there to be distributed, said Wilbur Johnson, the church’s attorney.
So, the house God bout to hit a lick off of a shooting? What ever happened to “the building fund”???
Originally, the church planned to send the donations it received to the Hope Fund to be distributed using its formula. However, city attorneys declined to accept the donations due to a pending lawsuit and other questions raised about the church leadership’s handling of the donations.
“They initially asked if the city would be open to that, but because of the (Arthur) Hurd litigation and other concerns expressed to us from the family members and survivors, we said we don’t want to get into the middle of any dispute,” said Laura Evans, an attorney who oversaw the city’s Hope Fund distribution.
A judge’s order had prevented Emanuel AME from disbursing donations until a few weeks ago when a lawsuit against the church was dismissed. The husband of victim Cynthia Graham Hurd filed that suit last fall seeking an accounting of the donations after attorneys for the families accused the church of not being transparent.
These folks could save themselves a LOT of trouble and just give ALL the money to the victims’ families.
Image via AP