Akron Organizations Set Up Gun Violence Response Fund

Akron, Ohio, June 10, 2024  — Today, the City of Akron, Akron Community Foundation, and Victim Assistance Program Inc. are announcing the creation of a Gun Violence Response Fund to support the victims and families of the June 2nd shooting on Kelly Avenue.  

The fund has been created at Akron Community Foundation to support the work of Victim Assistance Program Inc. in helping individuals and families navigate through crisis situations and stabilize their lives.  Akron Community Foundation and United Way of Summit & Medina are both providing $25,000 in initial funding and the City of Akron is bringing legislation to City Council today to approve $150,000 in initial funding. 

“The fund is live today and anyone can make a donation at akroncf.org/GunViolenceResponseFund,” said Akron Mayor Shammas Malik. “This fund gives our community an opportunity to rally together and whether it’s $25, $250, or $2,500, every donation helps support victims of gun violence. We’ve been asked a lot about how folks can help, and this is a clear and direct way that anyone can support those who are impacted.”

An advisory committee of community members will assist Victim Assistance Program in determining the priorities of the fund. Three community leaders will co-chair this committee: Tracy Carter, System Director, Government Affairs and Health Policy from Summa Health, Ron Paydo, Akron/Canton Market President from Huntington, and Rev. Dr. Charles Myricks Jr. with Arlington Church of God.

Victims experiencing financial hardships can call Victim Assistance Program twenty-four hours a day at 330-376-0040 to learn more. Those looking to support the organization can call the business line at 330-376-7022 x 208. The funding will be available after Monday, June 17.

Quotes

“I want to thank all the community partners who have come together to make this fund possible and the generosity of our seed fund donors,” said Mayor Shammas Malik. “This funding will not only help the victims of the June 2 shooting here in Akron, but other gun violence victims in the future provided we have the funding. We are proud to have brought this group together.”

“We’ve begun to see the vast aftermath of this tragic event in our community and how it has impacted so many people, beyond the already staggering number of individuals who were injured that day,” said John Garofalo, Vice President of Community Investment at Akron Community Foundation. “As a community foundation, it’s our responsibility to respond to the community in times of crisis and provide support to those who need it most. We’re thankful to the city, Victim Assistance Program and all of those already involved in or contributing to this fund for the work they’re doing to support those impacted by this shooting.”

“This fund will enable us to enhance our current services to ensure victims receive the comprehensive assistance they need to rebuild their lives,” said Leanne Graham, President & CEO of Victim Assistance Program. “I am grateful for the collaborative efforts, new partnerships, and access to funding that will holistically support victims of crime and trauma.”