Family Reunion by Laverne Ross

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


This is a post that I intended to write about for two weeks. For those of you that don't know, the horrific crime at Dunbar Village is one of the factors that led me to becoming a blogger. For the uninitiated here are the facts: On the evening on June 18th in a housing complex (Dunbar Village) in West Palm Beach, Florida a single Black mother was gang raped for three hours by ten Black males while they visciously beat her twelve year old son. They forced her to perform a sexual act on her own son while they continued to beat him. No one at the complex attempted to help this woman and her son who was forced to walk in the darkness for almost a while to the hospital. Again this happened on June 18th, six months ago!

I first read about this on Ms. Gina's blog What About Our Daughters in August. I was just stunned, angry and sad. However I was pulled into putting a spotlight on this horrific crime. I sent e-mails to friends, letters to various newspapers and called into radio shows to talk about this and rail against the violence towards Black Females. I finally came to giving money to the trust fund and in September I made my first deposit in the Victim Fund. It was not without difficulty and the teller at this Long Beach branch of Wachovia had to look in the computer to find the fund.

Now fast forward to two months later to my visit to the Lynwood Wachovia branch. I went there to make my payment to the trust fund. The teller was a sweet woman named Benita who said she was more than happy to help me. I told her of the trust fund and the atrocity at Dunbar and she was visably horrified and asked again what she could do. Unfortunately when she tried to look up the trust fund she could not find it. I gave her the words Dunbar Victim Village Assitance Fund and Dunbar Village Fund. She looked again and again and even called a help center that was located in Florida (The woman who tried to help had not heard of the crime) but found nothing.

Benita then suggested that we locate the Wachovia branch in West Palm Beach that helped to start the trust fund. It was not easy and we both were looking in mapquest and even Wachovia's web site. Finally Benita suggested that we call the church the trust fund originated, St. Ann's Catholic Church. She called and reached someone there who gave us the directions to the Wachovia that we were looking for. Then Benita was able to find the number to the Wachovia branch and called. When told of the reason for the call, I could hear the receptionist pause then gasp and say,"Oh her." They are fully aware of the crime down there.
Anyway, Benita was able to get the name of the account which was St. Ann's Church and I was able to make my deposit. I really want to thank this woman because she was patient, kind and helped me in every way. She's also expecting and I 'm going to get her a gift. Thank you Benita, for helping me and being the epitome of the professional worker and for being kind and considerate. I really do appreciate it.

Nice story isn't it? It is always nice to know that there are good people out there who are willing to help.

So for those of us committed to helping this woman and her son we must do the following in terms of the Victim Trust fund:

  1. Visit all of the Wachovia branches that we can to make a deposit to the trust fund. There are many around this country now so there is no excuse not to go.
  2. When we go to the Wachovia branch remember to tell the teller about the fund and to look it up under St. Ann's Church. This is important because there have been reports of various branches and people who are having trouble with locating the trust fund. Remember also that Wachovia is rapidly expanding and have taken over many banks, which results in the systems sometimes taking awhile to get in sync. Knowing the right words to use to locate the trust fund will make the process move quickly.
  3. Continue to tell those we know to give to the trust fund in person!
  4. Try to set up a satellite center at some branches to give attention to the Dunbar horror and for people to be able to locate and give to the fund without any problems.

I am in the process of doing this with the Wachovia that I visited and I also want to set up a collection within the Lynwood Unified School District (The office is not far from the bank) and have it sent to Wachovia.

I hope my story of my local Wachovia visit has been helpful. Remember during this holiday season the victim and her son are still suffering. They are in hiding and need money for basic necessities and other needs. They need are prayers but they also need our collective action. Please give to the trust fund. Remember it is under St. Ann's Fund.

Ms. Symphony, this is one of the things that I am doing during the 16 days of Activism. I intend to do more.

Mr. Shadow signing off.

1 comment:

Symphony said...

Hey there,

Thanks for posting your story about the fund. And glad to see your activism bit. Keep up the good work.