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Fundraising for victims of Miami apartment is close to $1.5 million, but officials warn of false appeals

Champlain Tower On June 24, resident Raquel Oliveira was visiting her mother in Colorado when the building collapsed and her husband Raquel Oliveira and son Lorenzo were trapped inside. Almost two weeks after the Surfside disaster in Florida, Oliveira’s family remains unaccounted for.

The search and rescue team is continuing its efforts to find the missing persons under the rubble, but they have to contact people from Tropical Storm Elsa And the fatigue caused by the long days of searching for survivors. At least 36 people in Champlainta have been confirmed dead, and 109 people are still missing.

GoFundMe has raised more than $59,000 to help Oliveira, and the fundraising page stated that this money “will be a way to relieve some of the foreseeable pressure and difficulties she will endure.”

It is one of dozens GoFundMe event The agency set up for the victims of the collapse of the Surfside apartment. The project has raised at least $1,343,061 in funding, and it continues to increase. However, the Florida Department of Financial Services warned donors to be alert to fraud.

The amount donated to various activities ranges from US$20 to more than US$240,000. Of course, many of these activities are legal.

The most successful event to date is called “Surfside FL Condo Collapsed Resident Relief”, and more than 2,900 donations have been raised, making the total donation less than US$10,000 less than the target of US$250,000.

The description of this fundraising event confirmed that the funds raised will be “sent directly to the Shure Central Emergency Response Fund in Bar Harbor via GoFundMe, and distributed directly to victims and their families.”

Another event raised more than $71,000 for Mercy and Ray Urgelles, who were in their apartment at the time of the disaster and their whereabouts are currently unknown.

While their family and friends wait to know if they are still alive, the purpose of the fundraising campaign is to “help their families, especially their children, Danny and Jenny, they are all safe.”

Not all activities are aimed at residents. So far, the fundraising event that has raised $735 was created by Rolando Tamames, who has been a maintenance staff at Champlain Towers for 11 years.

Although Tammams wrote that his “loss is only a small part of the losses of others”, he said “In a few seconds, I lost my friends, job, and only income to support my family, my tools/ The equipment continues to work.”

Tamames added: “I am very humbly asking my friends and my community to help me stay ahead financially as I try to find new sources of income.”

GoFundMe users also launched an event for emergency services that are still looking for survivors in the ruins, and Circus Eats Food Truck raised funds to provide meals for first responders.

The event has raised more than half of its $4,000 goal, stating that “we are working directly with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Logistics Team and the Global Empowerment Mission to ensure that these hot foods are delivered and distributed to our brave people and Women” because it confirms that “our efforts are in progress.”

The Florida Department of Financial Services has warned people who want to help Surfside victims to check the details of fundraisers before donating.

On Thursday, Jimmy Patronis, the agency’s chief financial officer, told News4Jax that scammers reportedly created a fake GoFundMe website.

“It’s disgusting. As far as I’m concerned, the robbery after the hurricane was there,” Patronis said, then praised those who really tried to help the victims.

He said: “I have witnessed the countless acts of kindness made by people living in this community to support our first responders, and I have also seen a community unite in this tragedy to pray and support each other.”

The office of Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (Ashley Moody) also issued a list of tips to avoid becoming a victim of a fundraising scam. People are urged to “not provide bank information to unsolicited phone calls or emails on behalf of charities” and to “check the name of the charity carefully before donating.”

Weekly newspaper The Florida Department of Financial Services and GoFundMe have been contacted for comments.

On June 29, Surfside, Florida, a search and rescue team searched for possible survivors in the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Tower South. Several GoFundMes have been established to help victims.
Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

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