Tops Markets and the National Compassion Fund, the nonprofit that distributes charitable contributions in the aftermath of mass casualty crimes, have named the co-chairs of the Buffalo-community Steering Committee.
This group will be led by Mark Blue, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Lackawanna and president of the Buffalo NAACP, and Paul Vukelic, president and CEO of Try-It Distributing.
“This committee, which will be made up of local business, community and faith leaders, will volunteer their time to serve and recognize the incredible generosity of those who have donated and approach this responsibility with both compassion and respect,” Blue said.
The other members of this steering committee will be named in the coming weeks. The committee will work closely with the guidance of the National Compassion Fund to establish a series of protocols, procedures and timelines for distributing the funds collected through the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund, benefitting those impacted by the May 14 attack at the Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, New York.
“The goal of the steering committee is to help the Buffalo victims’ families, survivors and those impacted as much as possible, with intentions of transparency, integrity, compassion and fairness. We take this responsibility very seriously and are committed to doing what is right for all involved,” Vukelic said.
To date, more than $1.55 million has been donated to the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund by more than 8,500 donors.
“This committee is important so that we can ensure that 100 percent of the funds go to the victims in a fair manner,” said Jeff Dion, executive director of the National Compassion Fund, which has assisted victims of many recent atrocities, including those in Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Parkland, Florida; and El Paso, Texas. “We are very fortunate to have dedicated steering committee co-chairs to ensure that our process is informed by community input and community values.”
Donations can be made at gofundme.com/f/buffalo-survivors-fund.
Those wishing to make donations by check or wire transfer should email [email protected] for details.
To read about the partnership between Tops and the National Compassion Fund presented by The Shelby Report, click here.