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Community support overwhelming

Community support overwhelming
Posted May 22nd, 2013 @ 5:22am by Carmen Angelo, Newsradio WTAM 1100

(Cleveland) - Attorneys for Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight say the women are overwhelmed at the community support offered since their May 6 discovery inside the Seymour Avenue home of 52-year-old Ariel Castro.

More than 6,100 people have donated $650,000 to the Cleveland Courage Fund which will benefit the women and the six-year-old daughter Berry had with Castro.

Castro remains jailed on 8-million dollars bond on rape and kidnapping charges.

Here is the text of the letter:

We are the attorneys who have come together to help Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.  These three brave women have asked us to give this message to everyone who has expressed concern and support.

Amanda, Gina and Michelle want you to know they are doing well.  They are happy and safe and continue to heal, a process that requires time and privacy.  

Since we first spoke publicly on their behalf, it has been wonderful to see that their plea for privacy has been answered and respected.  The media has disappeared from their front lawns and their neighborhoods are no longer experiencing traffic jams from news vehicles and curious onlookers.  You have no idea how much this means to them and has helped in their recovery process. 

Their first public message included a simple, heartfelt thanks to well-wishers and supporters for “everything you are doing.”  That “everything” now includes perhaps the greatest gift of all – the space and time to reconnect with their families and recover and rebuild their lives.  And so they say again, “Thank you.  Thank you so much!”

We continue to receive numerous generous offers to support Amanda, Gina and Michelle and their families.  The outpouring of public support has been nothing short of remarkable.  

To have complete strangers offer loving support in the form of money, goods and services, reaching out to help like a family member, is appreciated in ways that are impossible to put into words.  Amanda, Gina and Michelle, who have asked for nothing, are frankly overwhelmed by it all. 

You have touched their hearts in ways they will never forget.  So again, they collectively say “Thank you. Thank you so much!”

We understand some people may be confused about the best way to help.  We are in direct, private and ongoing conversations with Amanda, Gina and Michelle about many matters, including your generosity. 

While they appreciate the generous offers of goods and services, for now, they are trying to assess what they need today and for years to come.  That’s why donations to the Cleveland Courage Funds are so welcome.

We are confident the Cleveland Courage Funds are the legitimate, appropriate and most effective vehicles for this effort. In fact, donations to the Cleveland Courage Funds are already being distributed to the four survivors consistent with the concepts behind the trusts that are being set up. And as soon as the trusts are in place, one-hundred percent of all donations to the Cleveland Courage Funds will go into those trusts.

Cleveland is known for its generosity.  Amanda, Gina, Michelle and Amanda’s daughter are indeed grateful for that generosity, as are we. 

Kathy Joseph, Heather Kimmel, Henry Hilow, and James Wooley are attorneys representing the survivors on a pro bono basis.

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