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SunTrust Foundation Partners with the National Compassion Fund to Establish the Sebring Strong Survivors Fund

100 percent of donations collected will provide direct financial support to families of Sebring shooting victims

Jan 28, 2019

SEBRING, Fla., Jan. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The SunTrust Foundation announced today a partnership with the National Compassion Fund (NCF), a subsidiary of the National Center for Victims of Crime, to establish the Sebring Strong Survivors Fund that will provide direct financial support to the five families impacted by the mass shooting at the SunTrust Bank branch in Sebring, Florida. SunTrust teammates are also supporting the families through its One Team Fund.

To make a contribution, people can donate online to the Sebring Strong Survivors Fund at https://www.gofundme.com/sebring-strong-survivors-fund.

"Through the SunTrust Foundation and Sebring Strong Survivors Fund, we are committed to supporting the families of the victims as they begin to recover," said Bill Rogers, SunTrust chairman and CEO. "The outpouring of support from the community has demonstrated the best of humanity in a time of tragedy."

The National Compassion Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, will serve as the central repository for the Sebring Strong Survivors Fund and will organize a local steering committee responsible for setting the fund's distribution policy. A leading authority on how victims and their families are compensated for loss, the NCF will advise the committee, administer victim application and vetting processes, and coordinate the distribution of proceeds from the SunTrust Foundation's official campaign, other fundraisers, and third-party donation sources. GoFundMe will advise the SunTrust Foundation and support ongoing fundraising and distribution of proceeds to the families of victims. The SunTrust Foundation has also donated funds to cover NCF's operating costs associated with developing and implementing the distribution plan so that 100 percent of the donations will be distributed directly to the families.

In consultation with SunTrust Foundation, NCF will form the steering committee that includes local community, civic and business leaders to ensure that the voices of the victims' families are heard, as they are integral to the distribution process. Experts with experience in mass crime victim compensation and the needs of crime victims will also be asked to serve in a volunteer capacity. The fund and committee are entirely transparent, and the committee will inform the public of its deliberations in the distribution of funds.

"Our hearts go out to the families and the entire Sebring community," said Jeffrey Dion, executive director of the National Compassion Fund. "We are honored to join forces with SunTrust Foundation and GoFundMe to increase charitable giving and help meet the overwhelming needs of victims of this mass shooting."

In the coming weeks, additional details will be provided about the distribution plan. The committee will receive public input and will keep the community updated about how the funds will be delivered.

The National Compassion Fund was founded in collaboration with parents and family members from some of the worst mass casualty events in U.S. history: September 11, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University, Aurora, Oak Creek Sikh Temple and Newtown. Unlike other charitable funds, 100 percent of donations are distributed directly to the established victim base of these terrible atrocities. The National Compassion Fund has the experience to help victims and their families navigate this process and to treat victims with the respect and dignity they deserve. NCF also preserves the intent of donors who want to know that their gift is going directly to those harmed and will not be used for other purposes.

About SunTrust Foundation
The SunTrust Foundation is committed to SunTrust Bank's (NYSE: STI) purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being by engaging with local and national organizations to advance financial confidence. Grants and activities focus primarily on financial education, financial counseling, career readiness and small business/entrepreneurship, in addition to local community grants. The SunTrust Foundation supports American Red Cross disaster relief efforts and contributes as a United Way Global Corporate Leader. Established in 2008, the SunTrust Foundation has proudly provided grants totaling more than $160 million throughout the United States.

About the National Compassion Fund

The National Compassion Fund is a subsidiary of the National Center for Victims of Crime, the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. The National Center for Victims of Crime is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and an authority on how victims are compensated for loss. The National Compassion Fund has led distributions to victims of mass events in Fort Hood, Chattanooga, Orlando, Las Vegas, Charlottesville and Parkland, Santa Fe, Texas, Jacksonville and Cincinnati. 

About GoFundMe

Launched in 2010, GoFundMe is the world's largest free social fundraising platform, with over $5 billion raised so far. With a community of more than 50 million donors, GoFundMe is changing the way the world gives. Find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

SOURCE SunTrust Banks, Inc.

For further information: Mike McCoy, michael.mccoy@suntrust.com, 404.588.7230


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