GALVESTON COUNTY – Friday marks eight weeks since the Santa Fe High School shooting in which 10 people were killed and many other injured after a student opened fired in the school’s art wing.
Since then, people from across the world have donated money to help the victims. On Thursday, there was a town hall meeting to help decide how those donations should be distributed.
Although monies are still rolling into the Santa Fe Fund, so far, $825,977.33 has been donated. Eventually, 100 percent will be donated to victims or their families.
The Santa Fe Fund is managed by The Compassion Fund, a 501c3, but a Steering Committee, made up of Santa Fe community members, will ultimately decide how the money is allocated.
At Thursday’s meeting, the community was invited to weigh in on a loose draft as to how the money will be distributed.
The proposal breaks down who is eligible for the money into four categories: families of the deceased, those injured and hospitalized, those injured and released the same day and those who were in the art wing.
“When folks called from all over the world and gave money early on, they didn’t tell us how to give it out,” said Marc Lenahan, chairman of The National Compassion Fund, “so, the steering committee is going to decide that.”
“Almost certainly everybody that lost somebody will get the exact same number but then below that, smaller amounts will be given based on the severity of the injuries. And the truth is the victims weren’t just the ones who are hit. Folks were right there -- they’re different.”
An individual seeking the funds must fill out an application by Aug. 31.
Donations can still be made to the Santa Fe Fund until Sept. 30. Once there’s a monetary total, all applications will be reviewed and families should be gifted the money by mid-October.
At the meeting, representatives with The National Compassion Fund announced that Congressman Randy Weber contacted the IRS asking that recipients be exempt from paying taxes on the donations and that the IRS complied.
For more information about the process or to apply to be a Santa Fe Fund Recipient, click here.