The city of Charleston has set up a memorial fund so people nationwide can provide help to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church where a gunman fatally shot nine people earlier this week. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley announced Thursday the creation of the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund, which had already accrued thousands in donations Friday as news of the massacre spread, CNN reported.
Americans can walk into any Wells Fargo bank and donate to the account, which will finance funerals and counseling services for the church members. A website for the fund was due to go live Friday afternoon at motheremanuelhopefund.com, but supporters can also send checks to:
Mother Emanuel Hope Fund
c/o City of Charleston
P.O. Box 304
Charleston, SC 29402
Charleston launched the fund with a donation of $5,000, and Boeing of South Carolina followed suit with a gift of $100,000, NBC News reported. Several South Carolina restaurants were donating profits from their sales, including Edmund's Oast, John Lewis Barbecue and Monza Pizza. The Charleston RiverDogs Single-A baseball team also had plans to turn over profits from Thursday's game to the fund.
The Mother Emanuel Hope Fund is not the only option for people looking to give money after the attack. The church had its own direct donation fund on PayPal. People like Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and TV show writer Shonda Rhimes were passing around the link on social media Thursday. PayPal accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards.
Charleston-based startup Bidr created a phone line where users can donate by texting "pray for Charleston" to 843-606-5995. All money will go to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund, WCBD News 2 reported.
On Twitter, users shared the link to the Charleston Friends of the Library fund in memory of late librarian Cynthia Hurd.
Hurd and eight others, including Mother Emanuel's pastor, died Wednesday at the historic black church after a man, believed to be 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, opened fire after a Bible-study meeting. Roof was arrested Thursday in North Carolina, and police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.