CLEVELAND - The fund established for Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight has raised more than $480,000.
The Cleveland Courage Fund was created last week after three missing Cleveland women were found inside a house on Seymour Avenue, where they had been held captive for about a decade.
The Cleveland Foundations said there have been 5,100 donations, which have come from all 50 states and even some foreign counties. Key Bank also donated $10,000 and is provided free financial counsel to the victims.
"We're confident the Cleveland Courage Funds are a legitimate, effective and appropriate vehicle for accepting these donations," attorney Jim Wooley said. Wooley is an attorney for Jones Day, which is the law firm representing the women pro bono.
The Centers for Families and children will accept the money from the Cleveland Foundation "as a fiscal intermediary" and give 100 percent of the donations to the three women and Amanda Berry's 6-year-old daughter. According to the Cleveland Foundation, 100 percent of the donations at Key Bank will go to victims' trust funds.
"None of the organizations involved is taking any administrative fees or other compensation," said Tom Stevens, Vice Chair and Chief Administrative Officer of Key Bank. "We are delighted to serve as advisors to help ensure that Gina, Michelle and Amanda are able to use the money for their well-being, not just for today, but for years to come. The amount already raised and the organizations who have stepped up to help pro bono are truly remarkable."
"Gina, Michelle, and Amanda are so grateful to the Cleveland community and well-wishers world-wide for their generosity and to the council members for starting the Cleveland Courage Funds," Wooley said. "We are also aware of the many offers of donated goods and services, however, the best way to help right now is to donate dollars to take care of immediate needs, such as medical care and counseling."
Donations can be made to the Cleveland Courage Fund at any northeast Ohio Key Bank branch, online at clevelandfoundation.org/courage or by mail at:
Cleveland Courage Fund
c/o Cleveland Foundation
1422 Euclid Avenue Suite 1300
Cleveland, Ohio 44115