GoFundMe Announces Fundraisers to Help Buffalo Mass Shooting Victims

Fri May 20, 2022 11:35 a.m.

All donated funds are guaranteed by GoFundMe

By Terry Duffy

Chief Editor

Following Saturday’s mass shooting at the Tops Friendly Markets store on Buffalo’s East Side, GoFundMe officials announced a number of verified fundraisers are launching this week to help victims.

“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by Saturday’s mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo. At GoFundMe, we are working to ensure victims and their families receive the support they need during this difficult time,” said said Meghan Kee of GoFundMe.

She said that immediately after news broke of the shooting, GoFundMe mobilized a crisis team and began monitoring the fundraising platform created to help individuals and families.

“GoFundMe has a dedicated trust and safety team reviewing fundraisers related to this tragedy,” Kee said. “When a fundraiser is created to help another person or family, we securely hold all funds raised until the recipient is added to the fundraiser to opt out and their identity has been confirmed. or, we know the identity of the organizer, who they are raising funds for, the relationship of the organizer to the recipient of the funds, and how the funds will be used. This is just one of the many ways we secure the platform and make sure the money gets to the right game fast.

To help the community, GoFundMe said it launched a centralized hub to identify all verified fundraisers. Consulted online at https://www.gofundme.com/c/act/buffalo-mass-shooting-fundraisers, the hub will be regularly updated as new fundraisers are vetted by the team of trust and security.

Verified fundraising sites include:

√ https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-families-of-the-buffalo-shooting

√ https://www.gofundme.com/f/buffalo-memorial

√ https://www.gofundme.com/f/buffalo-mass-shooting-help-the-families-fund, and

√ https://www.gofundme.com/f/donate-to-the-victims-on-gofundme.

GoFundMe also reported that Tops Friendly Markets has partnered with the National Compassion Fund to help victims and survivors of the shooting, with Tops pledging $500,000 toward a $1 million goal.

“In partnership with Tops, the National Compassion Fund has established the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund to provide direct financial assistance to survivors of the deceased and those directly affected by this tragedy. One hundred percent of contributions to this fund will go directly to the victims and survivors of this atrocity,” according to a statement from the National Compassion Fund.

To help you, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/buffalo-survivors-fund.

And as community interest continues to grow, GoFundMe has announced six additional fundraisers. All sites are verified and include:

• The Aaron Salter Jr. fundraiser, organized by Aaron Salter III, the son of victim Aaron Salter Jr.

“He gave his life trying to subdue the suspect who targeted a local Tops for no reason and killed him in cold blood. Please donate at this tragic time to help the family in this unforeseen tragedy,” Salter said.

For more information, visit https://gf.me/v/c/gfm/aaron-salter-jr-fundraiser.

•Mass Shooting in Buffalo, New York, fundraiser by Cher Desi, daughter of victim Ruth Whitfield, to cover travel and accommodation expenses.

“My family, along with all the other families involved, are devastated by the racist gun violence that has claimed the lives of our loved ones. God bless you,” Desi said.

For more information, visit https://gf.me/v/c/gfm/mass-shooting-in-buffalo-new-york.

• Tops Mass Shooting Victims fundraiser, Buffalo NY, by Fallon Simpson, on behalf of survivors Lamont Thomas and Julie Harwell, and their 8-year-old daughter, Londin Thomas. The three went to the Tops store to buy food for a birthday party on the day of the incident.

“Saturday, May 14, was not a typical day for this family,” Simpson said. “Because they have witnessed senseless and diabolical crimes, they experience extreme mental battles added to the stress of already being homeless and struggling to survive. Lamont and Julie have been in foster care since Saturday. Londin, only 8 years old , will remember it all his life.

For more information visit https://gf.me/v/c/gfm/tops-mass-shooting-surviving-victims-buffalo-ny.

•Help for Tracy and AJ fundraiser, by Kim Netti, on behalf of her cousin, Tracey Maciulewicz, who lost her fiancé, Andre Mackniel. Andre was also the father of their 3-year-old son, AJ.

“Andre went to Tops grocery store to buy a birthday cake for their son AJ,” Netti said. “It was AJ’s 3rd birthday on the same day his father was murdered. Now Tracey remains a single parent. She is paralyzed by the reality that her partner is gone. Paralyzed by fear of what the future has in store for us. Their son AJ must grow up without his father. He is left to associate every birthday for the rest of his life with the murder of his father.

For more information visit https://gf.me/v/c/gfm/help-for-tracey-and-aj.

• Buffalo’s “Food Desert” Neighborhood Needs Our Help By Five-Year East Side Resident Jessica Bogumil, on behalf of WNY’s FeedMore Foundation.

“This neighborhood, in particular, is known as a ‘food desert,'” Bogumil wrote. “That means it’s the only grocery store within walking distance for the people who live there. Leaving them with little access to affordable and nutritious food. Many people in this area do not have their own vehicle, so going to an alternative grocery store is not an option. This horrific tragedy left this community without easy access to food.

For more information, visit https://gf.me/v/c/gfm/buffalo-food-desert-neighborhood-needs-our-help.

GoFundMe said donations to registered nonprofits, such as the FeedMore Foundation, are generally 100% tax deductible in the United States.

• Community Support to Feed the East Side of Buffalo fundraiser, by Phylicia Dove, local business owner and activist, on behalf of Feed Buffalo, an organization of Dove and local Black women that aims to transform food deserts into thriving communities.

According to the fundraiser, “All money raised will provide hot meals, food deliveries, non-perishable items, toiletries and other items per family. This initiative is multi-faceted and we hope it will continue after this traumatic event and act as a continuum of support to the Buffalo East Side.

For more information, visit https://gf.me/v/c/gfm/community-support-to-feed-the-east-side.

GoFundMe said donations to Community Support, a registered nonprofit, are also 100% tax deductible.

The organization concluded by stating that all fundraisers listed above have been verified on behalf of victims, survivors and their families and are believed to be legitimate.

“We guarantee that the funds from these fundraisers will reach the families,” GoFundMe said in its press release.

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