Cleveland, Ohio council members were able to start the Cleveland Courage Fund to benefit Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, and Amanda Berry and her daughter with new reports that it holds a little over $750,000; with more pouring in by the day.
The council members of The Cleveland Foundation, Brian Cummins, Matt Zone and Dona Brady, were able to set this up so that 100% of the donations will go directly to the women and they can actually use the funds now while they make plans for their futures.
Some of the donations have come from places like Panini’s in Brunswick and Kent with 100% of Tuesday’s profits donated and Quaker Steak and Lube have said 10% of their June 11th proceeds from five of their Ohio locations will be sent in as well.
Those locations are in Medina Township, Valley View, Lakewood and Vermilion.
This entire month has been pretty awe-inspiring what with the highs and lows regarding these ladies.
A recently released video of interviews with the officers who first responded, show them recounting with clear excitement, warmth and tenderness regarding the scenes that had greeted them, and how they had “overwhelming emotions” from start to finish.
Officer Anthony Espada was the first interviewed and it was obvious how affected he had been when he heard the words “it’s her” coming from Officer Michael Tracy’s mouth. He described the scene when they had pulled up to the house Berry had called from, how they saw a crowd of people standing around a woman who was holding a baby, and how that woman had walked up to the driver’s side door.
Officers Tracy and Espada both remembered the scene being pretty chaotic at first what with Berry eager to share as much information as possible about Ariel Castro (his description and what kind of car he was driving), the baby crying, and the crowd talking in the background.
Officer Barbara Johnson spoke of how, when the ‘code one’ had come across the scanner, she had “just really wanted to be there, just in case it really was her”. She had turned on the sirens and pulled up just in time to see Officers Tracy and Espada running to Castro’s house.
“The girls are the heroes of the story,” Johnson continued. “They fought every day. They are the heroes.”
The video to the left gives much more information regarding that amazing day.
Right now, Castro is locked up in county jail where he is under suicide watch still. He had almost immediately been put on suicide watch when first incarcerated.
Prosecutor Tim McGinty said had said capital punishment “must be reserved for those crimes that are truly the worst examples of human conduct” but it is unclear whether they will try to go for the death penalty.
Considering all this man has done and for so long, it almost seems to be expected.
Cleveland Courage Fund for Gina, Michelle, Amanda climbs to $750,000 (see to donate).
For more info: please contact the Ohio Attorney Generals Office at: 800-282-0515 or local: 614-466-4986. They are located at 30 E Broad St #14, Columbus, OH 43215 (Transit: E Broad St & N High St). For directions, please see Google Maps
Ohio Missing Persons Community Support:
- Ohio Attorney General: ‘In this traumatic time do not cut yourself off from others who can support you such as family, friends and clergy. Talk to your doctor if increased stress is affecting your health.”
- Team Hope: The mission of Team HOPE is to assist families with missing, exploited and recovered children by offering peer support including empowerment, emotional support and coping skills from a trained volunteer who has had or still has a missing or exploited child.
Sources: News Net 5/local, ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS AP Legal Affairs Writer and THOMAS J. SHEERAN, AP, Paul Kiska, newsnet5.com; The Cleveland Foundation