Mother Emanuel AME Church making sure donations go to correct funds

Updated: Nov. 12, 2015 at 9:25 PM EST
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The historic downtown Charleston church where nine members were slain in June has a process in place to make sure all donations go to the specific funds donors requested.

Donors to Mother Emanuel AME Church noted which fund they intended their donations be sent to, and those designations have been accounted for by the church and independent evaluations by accounting firms in Raleigh and Columbia, according to church spokesperson Elizabeth Boineau.

Since the tragedy, "the outpouring of love, affection and support for the victims, their families, the survivors, and the entire church family has been formidable," according to a release from the church.

Though the exact amount of funds is still being evaluated by an outside accounting firm, the church has indicated it is ready to start distributing the funds from donations, the majority of which were made to the church itself.

The church established the Moving Forward Fund account to manage and track donations sent to the church and the families of the victims since the June 17 tragedy. The account contains monies for the Mother Emanuel Fund, which the church will use for physical improvements; the Memorial Fund, which will fund scholarships and community outreach; and the Mother Emanuel Nine Fund, established for the families of the victims.

"The church, with assistance from its bankers and accounting professionals, has made an extensive effort to manage the overwhelming amount of documents and records that have been graciously received," church attorney Wilbur Johnson said. "This distribution plan reflects, in part, the fulfillment of its responsibility."

The church is also reviewing a possible donation to the survivors of the shooting to supplement the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund, which was set up by the City of Charleston. Approximately $3 million in funds has been collected in that fund.

Donating a portion of church funds to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund would have to be approved within the church itself.

The church's lead pastor, State Sen. and the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, was among the nine killed in the June 17 shooting.

"We can only hope that the funds donated for the church, for memorials, for endowments, and for the families of the victims will help us all move forward as one," interim pastor the Rev. Norvel Goff, Sr., said.

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