Cleveland Courage Fund gains $50k since viral video posted

5:56 PM, Jul 9, 2013   |    comments
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Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight found alive

Complete Coverage - Click Here

Crime & Punishment: Castro Sentenced

The Evidence: Prosecutor's Case Photos (PDF)

Survivor Speaks: “Your hell is only beginning”

Turning the Tables: Castro hears from survivors in court

Castro Speaks: “I’m not a monster”

Word Cloud: Castro’s statement

Read: Castro’s Statement

Inside the House: FBI says house became a cage

Photos: Castro evidence

Photos: See Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus pictures

Photos: Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry come home

Photos: Ariel Castro in court

Photos: Decade in isolation

The house: Photos show backyard at Castro’s house

The deal:  Castro’s plea agreement

Son speaks: Ariel Castro's son says dad's punishment fits

Enjoying freedom: Amanda Berry makes surprise public appearance

 Families approve deal: Families pleased with Castro plea deal

 Justice served: Prosecutor says Castro plea deal is justice

 Reign of terror ends: Ariel Castro pleads guilty

 House’s future: Castro home headed for wrecking ball?

 Viral Video: Amanda, Gina and Michelle release thank-you video

Judge denies request: Castro denied request to see Amanda Berry’s child

Look up: Judge orders Castro to open his eyes in court 




Psychic responds: Sylvia Browne makes statement on Amanda Berry case

Officer’s story: Police recount finding Amanda, Gina, and Michelle

Investigator: How Castro spends his time behind bars

Investigator: Castro says he loves his daughter

911 Call: Help me I'm Amanda Berry

Dispatch tapes: "We found them!"

How to help: Charitable fund set up for missing girls

Police audio: Police audio reveals how officers found women

DeJesus homecoming: Gina gives a thumbs up

Amanda Berry homecoming: Family thanks community

Charles Ramsey: Neighbor tells how he helped rescue Amanda Berry

Charles Ramsey: Listen to 911 call that led to Amanda Berry rescue

Police: Amanda is the real hero here




CLEVELAND -- Since the survivors video went viral, the Cleveland Courage Fund has collected more than $50,000 overnight.

Each of the women -- Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight -- mentioned the support provided by the fund in the video release.

That fund has collected more than $1.1 million from more than 9,200 donors.

Tuesday afternoon,  the Cleveland Courage Fund website nearly crashed from activity as so many people heard the terror this women lived through and want to help.

More than a million dollars won't repay their pain but it will help fund recovery for the women and little girl who survived.

"The numbers just go up and up and up before your eyes," said Chris Kelly, partner-in-charge at Jones Day Cleveland.

"It is being utilized by the girls for everyday living expenses and to help in their recoveries, but it's being dispersed in what I'll just call an intermittent basis by the attorneys that represent the four survivors," said Kelly.

For now, the funds are still in a cash account while four equal trusts are established, using 100 percent of all donations. The trusts will be formalized over the summer, with an agreement to outline how the money will be spent.

Each will be managed by a professional trustee.

"Since you're not spending all of it day one, or the first month, or the first six months, they will be invested," said Kelly. "They are typically invested in very safe, short term securities so that they earn some income on them...while the moneys aren't being used."

And the money is being carefully guarded, mostly by the women themselves.

"You'd be amazed, but these women don't need much protection. They are very smart, resilient, strong people. They really are," he said. "To the extent they need help, we have [Jones Day Attorney] Jim Wooley there to chase away any kind of scavenger that's out there."

The hope is that these funds can help Amanda and her daughter, Gina and Michelle establish their "brand new lives," as Michelle called them.

"The dollar amounts obviously help them get back on their feet. What the fund represents in terms of community support and outpouring of generosity and caring and love, is very powerful to them," said Kelly.

Councilwoman Dona Brady from Ward 17 was one of the three Cleveland City Council members who launched the fund. She told Channel 3 News she knew the fund would generate this much attention.

While Jones Day would not tell us how the money is being spent, we can only imagine the needs they have ahead will include education, job training, other opportunities as well as healthcare, counseling and other recovery related costs.


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