Many families and communities across Nova Scotia are grieving the loss of their loved ones that were killed in last week’s rampage, which left at least 22 people dead.
To help those impacted by the tragedy, the government of Nova Scotia partnered with Canadian Red Cross on April 22 to start a Stronger Together Nova Scotia Fund, which so far has raised more than $1.5 million.
The goal of the fund is to provide immediate direct financial payments to families, scholarships for the children left behind, and long-term emotional support to help those in need cope with loss.
“This really is a disaster — the events of last weekend — so it’s a disaster appeal, and it’s set up very much the same way,” said Dan Bedell, spokesperson for the Canadian Red Cross Atlantic.
N.S. government is covering all the administration costs associated with the fund, which means 100 per cent of the donations will go to victim’s families.
Bedell said he’s not surprised by the amount of generosity Nova Scotians have shown by donating to the fund.
“We knew immediately that people were looking for avenues to help in some way, and with everything else going on, you can’t help in person.
“A financial contribution to support the impacted families and communities is one way everyone can help to whatever capacity they can.”
Bedell said the campaign will remain open for several weeks, and that the families will be consulted on what their needs are before the funds are distributed.
“The first thing we need to do is meet with all the affected families or representatives of those families to determine what their losses are,” said Bedell.
“Some of those losses, for example, might be covered by insurance, some might be covered by other financial campaigns that are underway, but there will be lots of requirements.”
He said some children have been left without parents and that they may have things like scholarships to help them through their future.
“There’s going to be a lot of emotional scars from this, a lot of psycho-social support and community support that might be required. And the communities themselves are suffering, so there might be something that can be done with these funds to help the community in some way,” Bedell said.
Nova Scotians can still donate to the Stronger Together Nova Scotia by choosing one of the four options below:
- Online at redcross.ca (or in French croixrouge.ca)
- Toll-free telephone call to 1-800-418-1111
- To make a one-time $10 donation, text the word Strong to 20222. (Or in French text the word Ensemble to 30333).
- To make a one-time $20 donation, text the word Strong to 45678. (Or in French text the word Ensemble to 41010).