Times Staff Writer
Victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting can expect a quicker payout for their piece of $17 million worth of donations, the city of Orlando announced Thursday.
Less than three weeks after the attack, it is now the largest single fund ever collected through private donations following an American mass shooting. The previous record was set in 2012, after private donors pitched in a total of $12 million to a United Way victims fund after the Newtown school shooting, which left 28 dead.
The city of Orlando has merged the $10 million OneOrlando Fund with the $7 million raised by the civil rights group Equality Florida. They combined "to ensure all funds collected for victims are disbursed in a unified process that will expedite funds, ensure transparency and safeguard against fraud," the city wrote in a statement.
The organizations have been hinting at a merger for nearly two weeks, when OneOrlando announced it would distribute funds directly to victims rather than through non-profit and community groups.
Equality Florida established its victims fund on GoFundMe.com within hours of the attack. It began the victim registration process on June 19 for those that will receive financial support. The organization planned to distribute money to the families of the 49 people killed as well as the 53 people wounded in the June 12 attack. Donations may also go to people who got out of the nightclub without physical injury but may have suffered emotional trauma.
Organizers at the time estimated that it would start sending out checks to victims and their families within eight or nine weeks.
Contact Alli Knothe at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @KnotheA.