Families to receive money from Woodmore Fund this week
Just two weeks after a deadly school bus crash the families affected will receive the community's donations.
On November 21st, a Woodmore Elementary School bus crashed on Talley Road and killed six children and injured dozens more.
At last check, the Woodmore Fund had raised more than $200,000.
Lakweshia Ewing is the spokesperson for the Woodmore Fund.
She says from this point forward, the number will not be shared.
"For the safety and privacy of the families we're really not disclosing the total," Ewing said.
In Monday night's meeting, Lakweshia says families expressed their gratitude for the support.
One mom in particular, she says, was emotional.
"She lost her child but she said I never knew this many people cared about me," Lakweshia said.
Lakweshia says the fund committee is made up of PTA staff, pastors and even Woodmore community members.
They've been the go-to resource for families.
Without giving any money from the Woodmore Fund, they've been able to use local agencies to help them with needs like paying bills, getting gas to visit their children in the hospital and receive counseling.
"Aside from the actual gifts that have been donated to the fund we've kind of been a vehicle for families to get immediate needs through resources that have already been established in Chattanooga," Lakweshia said.
The Woodmore Fund hopes to give the first dispersement this week.
Lakweshia says every family, who had a child on the bus, will get money.
"There's no way to pay for the loss of a child. There's no amount of money that can compensate from the trauma that some of the children who survived this incident are now enduring, so we wanted to be as fair as possible with the distribution of the dollar understanding there is no right number," she said.
By the end of the year, families who either lost a child or had a child with extensive injuries will receive another payment.
Lakweshia says seeing how much the community has given makes her proud of her city.
"We care. We care a lot and I think that is the Chattanooga way," she said.
The Woodmore Fund will continue to take donations until December 31st.
You can donate here or by texting "Woodmore" to 91999.
Lakweshia says the following are the Woodmore Fund committee members:
Lakweshia Ewing, former Hamilton County schools employee
Lesley Scearce, United Way CEO
Maeghan Jones, President of Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga
Pastor Ternae Jordan, Mt. Canaan Baptist Church
Pastor Kevin Adams, Olivet Baptist Church
Dr. Elaine Swafford, CGLA
Rebecca Suttles, Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga
Montrell Besley, Physical Education teacher at Woodmore Elementary
Chris Sands, Youth Pastor at Olivet Baptist Church
Wayne Brown, Founder of Bridge-N-the-Gap, Tennessee PTA
Chantell Roberson, Associate General Counsel at Blue Cross Blue Shield
Pastor Roderick Ware, New Monumental Church
Patrick Long, United Way
Elizabeth Tallman, United Way