December 13, 2018; Daily Sentinel
In Colorado, which has experienced several mass tragedies in the past, government officials and business leaders are considering establishing a standing nonprofit structure to hold public donations ahead of any new crisis.
Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, among others, are the initiators of the effort, which is to be called the Colorado Healing Fund.
“It’s impossible to predict when a tragedy will happen,” says Coffman, whose office seeded the effort with $1 million. “It’s not something we want to think about. But because Colorado has been the center of mass violence before, we must be prepared to take care of victims.”
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The group’s founding board of directors includes the former principal of Columbine High School in Littleton, Frank DeAngelis.
Coffman, along with other attorneys general, are often placed in the position of warning the public about scam fundraisers in the wake of disasters. (This, when we hear it repeated over and over again by officials, cannot do other than erode confidence in nonprofits.)
“I’ve seen money from good-hearted people land in the hands of scammers who take advantage of tragic circumstances rather than help those who desperately need it,” Coffman says. “That’s why my office seeded the fund with $1 million. The [fund] will provide a safe way for Coloradans to donate confidently now and in the event of a mass tragedy crime, and ensure that their money goes to help victims, survivors and families.” This is a statement about confidence in this sector that fundraisers and the rest of us should take very seriously.
So, the establishment of such a fund may be a good thing, but why does it also strike me as heartbreaking on more than one level?—Ruth McCambridge