Smith said the money will not come with any strings attached.
“It’s a charitable gift,” she said. “Whoever receives a check from this fund, they can do with it as they wish.”
Brian Pinson, who was shot in the backside as he ran from the shooting, said the financial toll of the shooting has piled up along with the physical pain and mental trauma. The money will be helpful, Pinson said.
“I ended up losing a job, we’re behind on rent, medical, a whole lot of stuff,” he said.
Pinson’s girlfriend Britaney Jones, also a victim, hasn’t been back to her restaurant job since she was shot in the left hand and lost her thumb.
“I appreciate it,” she said of the charity fund, but said life since the shooting has been a struggle. “Money ain’t going to solve everything. Money ain’t going to bring my thumb back.”
The Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund’s community oversight committee will hear public input on Sept. 16 from 10-11:30 a.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. at Sinclair Community College, Building 12.
Oversight committee members expected to attend include former University of Dayton president Raymond Fitz, and associate dean for students affairs at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine Gary LeRoy. A moderator and sign language interpreter will participate. Parking will be free.
Smith said no administrative costs have been taken from the donations. The committee, moderator and space at Sinclair was all offered free of charge.
“One-hundred percent of the donations into the fund will go to the applicants, the victims and their families,” she said.
Financial help is also available from the state for shooting victims, though strict rules limit who can access those funds.
State records show at least 29 Oregon District shooting victims applied for assistance from the state of Ohio’s victims compensation program, which reimburses for certain expenses caused violent crimes. The fund is paid for by court costs paid by people accused of crimes.
Many of the victims and their family members applied for help with lost wages, medical bills and counseling, according to program records obtained by the Dayton Daily News.
But state law may restrict some victims from getting help from that program. Any victim who was charged with a felony crime within 10 years before the shooting – even if they weren’t convicted – is ineligible for help from the program. So is anyone who had drugs in their system at the time of the shooting.
A Dayton Daily News investigation in 2017 found more people are denied aid through the program than it pays out.
The Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund’s community oversight committee is holding a public input session on Sept. 16 on how donated funds should be distributed to victims. The even is scheduled from 10-11:30 a.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. at Sinclair Community College, Building 12. A moderator and sign language interpreter will participate. Parking will be free.
HOW TO DONATE
The Dayton Daily News is partnering with the Dayton Foundation to raise money for the Oregon District Tragedy Fund. Ways to donate:
- Make a secure, online credit card donation on the foundation’s website
- Mail a check to The Dayton Foundation, 1401 S. Main Street, Suite 100, Dayton, OH 45409. “Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund” should be designated on the check or in the fund name field
- Text DAYTON to 20222 for a one-time $10 donation