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Amish School Tragedy

If you wish you may help the families directly effected by the Amish school tragedy. Two banks have established funds that are accepting contributions.

Nickel Mines Children's Funds
Coatesville Savings Bank
1082 Georgetown Road
Paradise, PA 17562

Roberts Family Fund
Coatesville Savings Bank
1082 Georgetown Road
Paradise, PA 17562

Nickel Mines School Victims Fund
Hometown Heritage Bank
100 Historic Drive
P.O. Box 337
Strasburg, PA 17579

Letters and cards may also be sent to the familes by writing to:

Bart Township Fire Co.
P.O. Box 72
11 Furnace Road
Bart, PA 17503

Report from Nickle Mine Committee -- 21 November 2006

The Nickel Mines Accountability Committee meets regularly to review and approve disbursement of funds for medical bills, counseling, transportation, lost wages and other expenses resulting from the shooting of 10 girls, five fatally, at the West Nickel Mines Amish School on October 2nd. Costs are expected to be significant even though the hospitals and many other medical service providers have not billed the families for their initial services.

Four of the five injured girls have returned to their homes. Two of the girls suffered serious head wounds. One of them remains hospitalized, receiving rehabilitation, and hopes to be released by Christmas. A church representative reported that she has shown remarkable improvement. The other, semi-comatose at home, miraculously survived, according to observers, but is likely to have lifelong disabilities. One is back in school full time and is expected to recover fully from shoulder, hand and leg injuries. The other two are in school as much as their rehabilitation treatments permit and are recovering from lung, abdominal, facial and leg injuries that will require extensive reconstructive surgeries.

Some of the families expect to incur expenses for long-term medical services, reconstructive surgery, and rehabilitation their daughters will need. The Accountability Committee will ensure that funds are reserved for those future expenses. It is not known presently what future services will be billed.

The West Nickel Mines Amish School building was razed about ten days after the tragedy occurred and the property was reincorporated into the pasture land from which it had been taken. The school committee has selected a site for construction of a new school within the next months. Offers to donate funds and materials to rebuild the school have exceeded what will be required.

Family and community members feel that the prayers of all those who have supported the families have contributed to the remarkable recovery that several of the girls have experienced. They are deeply grateful for the prayers, the thousands of messages of condolence and the many gifts that have been sent to the families and community. Volunteers from the community have worked hundreds of hours to sort the mail and deliver the gifts. Financial contributions exceed $3.2 million. Arrangements have also been made to pay medical bills directly with the funds Capital Blue Cross set aside for that purpose. The Accountability Committee is in contact with the coordinator of the Roberts family fund to make sure adequate support is available for Mrs. Roberts and her children.

While bearing their own deep pain and grief, the families of the victims personally extended forgiveness to the Roberts family. The Amish community is aware that because of that act of forgiveness many people around the world are talking about forgiveness and peaceful alternatives to violence. When they receive commendations for extending "miraculous forgiveness" the Amish note that they simply try to forgive as Jesus did and that all honor must be given to God.

The Accountability Committee has established guidelines for use of the funds: medical expenses; counseling services for students and their families, teachers, emergency response providers, and other community members affected by the event; transportation for victims and for family members attending to the victims; rehabilitation and reconstructive treatment; long-term disability care; modifications to homes or schools if needed to make facilities handicapped-accessible; construction of a new school building; and any other expenses resulting from the event. If adequate funds are received contributions may be made to charity funds of health service providers and to volunteer public service entities that responded to this event without charging for their services.

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