One Fund Boston Administrator Praises Giving Spirit Of Public, Discusses Difficult Job Ahead
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – In the week and a half since the Boston Marathon bombings left three people dead and more than 260 others injured, the One Fund Boston set up by Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Mass.) and Mayor Tom Menino (D-Boston) has raised more than $23 million.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Gov. Patrick and Mayor Menino officially named Kenneth Feinberg the administrator of the One Fund Boston.
“Top priority is to take the money that’s been donated and, as fast as possible, get all of the money out distributed to eligible victims who lost loved ones, were terribly physically injured by these horrific attacks and get the money to them as soon as we can,” Feinberg told WCBS 880’s Steve Scott.
Feinberg has previously administered the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund and other disaster relief funds.
“You’ve got to figure out, as we have done in the past with 9/11 and Aurora, Colo. and Virginia Tech, how much money there is to distribute and then make some allocation: This money will be reserved for the families who lost loved ones, this money will be reserved for physical injuries,” said Feinberg.
LINK: One Fund Boston
For those who were injured in the blasts, Feinberg said the money is distributed on a sliding scale based on how long the victim was hospitalized.
Feinberg said his experience dealing with the aftermath of tragedies always shows the generous spirit of the American people.
“It’s amazing, it’s astounding,” Feinberg said. “A week or so after the attacks, money is pouring in. Unsolicited, from around the country, 50,000 donors.”
But Feinberg said for those directly affected by the Boston bombing, there will never be enough money raised to cover all the costs associated with their loss and injuries.
“The number one lesson you learn is how emotional these funds can be,” Feinberg told Scott. “We’re talking about victims who lost loved ones, who suffered life-altering physical injuries.”
“This is a time for anger, frustration, uncertainty, disappointment. It’s the emotion that you have to brace yourself to confront when you design and administer these compensation programs,” Feinberg added.
The Brockton, Mass. native said this relief effort hits close to home.
“Your heart is in your home,” Feinberg said. “It doesn’t change our professional objectivity. You like to think you can do the job the same way you did in Virginia Tech or Newtown or Aurora. But when it’s close to home, the heart I think beats a little faster, I’ll tell you that.”
Feinberg has also been tapped to help administer the Sandy Hook relief fund offering financial support to the families of the Newtown massacre victims.
“There, there’s about I believe $11 million, or money to be distributed to families of about $7.7 million – not much,” said Feinberg. “As you could imagine, no amount of money is going to replace a 6-year-old or a 5-year-old – it’s just not going to happen.”
Feinberg has previously said his goal is to distribute all the funds to eligible Sandy Hook families in the next month.
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