Charleston Victims' Kids Given Big Gift, Anonymously
Scholarship fund named after murdered pastor
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2015 5:06 AM CDT
This Nov. 22, 2010 photo shows the Rev. Clementa Pinckney at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.   (Grace Beahm/The Post and Courier via AP)
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(Newser) – A group of donors has raised more than $3 million for a scholarship fund for families of victims of the Charleston church shooting—and they have named it after the church's murdered pastor. Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley says the Rev. Clementa Pinckney was "committed to quality education and educational opportunities for everyone," which makes the fund an ideal way to preserve both his name and the cause he strongly believed in, CNN reports. In a statement, the anonymous donors said they are not from SC, but they want the Emanuel AME community to know that the "burdens of perseverance and empathy, which they have demonstrated with such dignity, do not fall exclusively on their shoulders."

Riley says the scholarship fund will help those affiliated with the church and the wider community, but there will be a special focus on children of victims, BuzzFeed reports. "We certainly have evil, and the worst kind of evil visited that church two weeks and some hours ago," the mayor told the New York Times yesterday. "But the response is entirely the opposite. It's pure goodness and generosity. It's big hearts and loving people responding, and it's absolutely wonderful." (The sister of suspect Dylann Roof received a less than enthusiastic response to her attempt to raise funds for her honeymoon.)