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2017-12-06 / Local

Funds are helping victims and their families

Editor:

We, the leaders at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs and the survivors of this tragedy, are dealing with the legal issues and day-to-day activities the best we can, after burying half of our congregation several weeks ago. We have surrounded ourselves with people who are guiding us through this process and watching out for our best interests as a church body and as a family of Believers.

As to the people asking where the money is: not one victim or immediate family member of a victim has contacted us, worried about where the money is. We do, however, understand the concern of donors wanting to make sure their donations are properly allocated. All donations are being handled through an outside CPA firm and lawyer — who have volunteered their time — and will be distributed equitably as soon as possible.

We have sent this message to all the victims’ families: We think we have all the immediate needs of victims and the needs of their immediate families met at this time. However, if you hear of somebody needing counseling or money for bills or medical bills, let them know to get in touch with us to make sure that everything is cleared and there are no hurdles to their recovery.

Also, due to the overwhelming generosity from around the world, the church has had to enlist some help to take care of our mail. Please be patient if your check has not cleared. We are sending all envelope-sized mail to a company that opens it under surveillance, to avoid any possible mishandling.

We are amazed at the outpouring of support and how the whole armor of God continues to come around us.

The support of our law-enforcement community also is amazing. For example, a special agent with the FBI has been actively pursuing the individuals that, in our time of tragedy, chose to take advantage of the situation for their own personal gain. They have already identified one individual who did this and are now reaching out to those who were victims of his scheme. The church was just one of a string of other tragedies where he took advantage. This particular situation was stopped quickly; it allowed them to find this person that had previously not been identified, and the proper authorities are actively pursuing it.

FRANK and SHERRI POMEROY

Pastor, First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs

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