- Publish Date
- Monday, 18 March 2019, 8:00AM
More than $6.3 million has now been donated to the victims of the Christchurch massacre via online fundraising pages.
The largest of those pages is Givealittle's official "Christchurch Shooting Victims' Fund" which as of 9.30pm tonight had raised over $4.3 million from 60,000 plus donors.
The New Zealand Islamic Info Centre has also set up a LaunchGood page which has raised more than $1.7 million from 31,000 plus donors.
A separate online donations page also set up on Victim Support's own website, after overload on the official Givealittle page, has raised over $120,000.
A handful of other separate Christchurch fundraising pages have also contributed over $100,000.
The official Givealittle page was set up by the New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups, which is a national charity providing a 24/7 response to victims of serious crime and trauma.
Victim Support general manager Cam Cotter said they have received a large number of referrals today, and are already responding to requests for emergency financial assistance from victims.
Cotter said the fund was a "much larger fund than any of us could have predicted" and asked for patience in how the funds would be managed while still in the "immediate aftermath" of the attack.
"It's going to take some time to make sure there are fair and responsible processes in place for the long-term management of the fund, and that the community and victims affected are consulted about how these funds are used," Cotter said.
"Criteria will include financial assistance, as well as help for the wider range of other support needs that are continuing to emerge."
People directly caught up in the mosque shootings can call 0800 842 846 to discuss emergency financial assistance with a Victim Support Worker.
Victim Support stressed on its Givealittle page that all the funds donated will go directly to "support and resources for people affected by the Christchurch shootings and their family members".
"This money is being ring-fenced and is NOT for Victim Support's regular operating costs," the Givealittle page stated.
Spark has also stepped in to sponsor the service fee of the page.
With new donations piling in by the second, thousands of heartfelt messages of support have also accompanied the money donations.
"Let's get this fund to $50 million," one person posted.
"My deepest sympathies to the Muslim brothers and sisters that lost their lives, and the families and communities that are hurting. No amount of koha will make up for the lives we've lost, but I hope it will help a little bit moving on and remembering those we love," another wrote.
Christchurch man Nicholas Chan has raised $1270 vowing to run a half-marathon in under two hours for the victims.
On the New Zealand Islamic Info Centre LaunchGood page, a link to their Instagram page has been set up to "share stories of our martyrs" and "honour their legacies inshaAllah".
Pictures of the deceased alongside blurbs on their personal history has received thousands of likes.
"No amount of money will bring back their loved ones, but we do hope to lessen their burden in some way," New Zealand Islamic Info Centre fundraising page says.
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Dozens of Islamic societies and institutes globally, from Malaysia to California to New York, have also contributed to the LaunchGood page.
Articles from international media have also joined the effort to raise money for the Christchurch victims.
The New York Times has a "How to Help the Victims of the Christchurch Shootings" page with relevant links to the New Zealand fundraising pages.
This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.