Criteria set for how to give money raised in 2 months
Nearly $61 million raised by The One Fund Boston will be distributed to 232 individuals and families starting Sunday, marking the end of a crash campaign to raise money quickly to help victims of the Marathon bombings.
The total — which far exceeded the expectations of the fund’s administrators — will allow them to write larger checks on average than the aid provided to relatives of those killed in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, they said. Those whose relatives died and those who suffered the most grievous injuries as a result of the terror in Boston will each receive nearly $2.2 million.
The administrators of the fund, which was established shortly after the bombings by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Governor Deval Patrick, vetted all 259 claims and rejected 26 submitted earlier this month because the victims had not sustained physical injuries that were treated at a local hospital. The administrators are still seeking documents from one woman who has sought compensation, and any for her would come from money raised over the coming months.
“No amount of money can replace what has been lost,” said Kenneth Feinberg, administrator for the fund, in a statement. “It was a solemn responsibility to allocate these finite contributions across tremendous pain and suffering, but it was made lighter by the unprecedented generosity of Bostonians, of Americans, and of people around the world.”
For those who suffered the worst, the money will bring little consolation.
When the father of 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, who died in the bombing, learned Friday that his family would receive nearly $2.2 million from the fund, he began to cry.
“Wow. That’s really shocking to hear,” said William Campbell Jr. “It’s really overwhelming.”
The retired plumber, who had expected less than half that amount, said the money will help his family, but it will never salve the family’s pain.
“I’d rather have my daughter back than get a dollar,” he said. “She was everything in the world to me.”
Campbell said he and his wife will use the money to help other victims and to remodel their home in Medford so their son and grandson can move in. “We want to keep them nice and close,” he said.
Larry Marchese, a spokesman for the Richard family, whose 8-year-old son Martin died and whose 7-year-old daughter, Jane, lost a leg when the second bomb went off, said the family is deeply grateful for the outpouring of aid and empathy. The children’s mother, Denise, lost vision in an eye and suffered a head injury. Their father, Bill, sustained shrapnel wounds, burns to his legs, and suffered hearing loss. The oldest child, Henry, was unharmed.
Their family will receive aid based on five claims, one for each family member, according to Camille Biros, deputy administrator of One Fund.
In a statement, the Richard family said the financial compensation serves as “another powerful reminder of just how much love and support our family has received from the people of Boston, across the country, and around the world.”
The Richards added: “We would like to thank every person who gave support, financial or otherwise, to our family, as well as all the other individuals and families victimized on Marathon Monday.”
Officials with the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the Boston Marathon, thanked Feinberg and his staff for distributing the money so quickly.
“The funds are being distributed without bureaucracy or delay in order to meet current needs,” said Tom Grilk, executive director of the association. “Mr. Feinberg and his team are acting precisely as so many others have in the wake of the April 15 bombings. They are wasting no time in moving forward.”
The $61 million the fund drew in accounts for all the money raised through June 26. Those whose relatives died and those who had two limbs amputated or suffered permanent brain damage will each receive nearly $2.2 million.
The 14 victims who had one limb amputated will each receive about $1.2 million. Another 69 people injured in the attacks will receive between $125,000 and $948,300, depending on how much time they spent at a hospital. Ten who spent 32 or more nights in a hospital will receive the maximum and 18 who spent two nights or less in a hospital will receive the minimum.
The rest, 143 people who were treated on an emergency outpatient basis at local hospitals and released without an overnight stay, will each receive $8,000.
Officials said the One Fund will continue to collect donations and use the additional money to support those most affected by the attacks. No deadline has been set for contributions. It is yet to be determined how additional donations will be distributed.
Biros said her staff was amazed by how much money people donated. Checks have come from every state in the country, in amounts as small as $1 and as large as $1 million and more.
“This totally exceeded our expectations,” she said. “I don’t think anyone understood we could have a fund to distribute of this magnitude.”
She said the average amount given to the families of those killed will exceed the same category of victims in the 9/11 attacks by more than $100,000 each. The federal government distributed $7 billion in taxpayer dollars to about 5,500 people and families after the 2001 attacks.
Biros said the One Fund used length of hospital stays and other criteria to avoid making judgments about needs or circumstances of individual victims. Compensation to victims is not based on financial need.
“When we volunteered to do this, we wanted to do this as efficiently and in a timely manner as possible,” she said.
Feinberg, the fund’s administrator, conducted two public meetings in May to explain the application process for aid. The deadline for claims was June 15.
Several millions in additional dollars have been raised by separate fund-raising efforts.
In a statement, Menino said he hopes the aid from the One Fund will help as much as it can to alleviate the pain of the victims.
“No amount of money can ever replace what these individuals and families have lost, but I hope the generosity of the world helps them heal a little more comfortably as they move forward in their lives,” he said.
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