A woman who did not want to give her name, but said she works at the Washington Navy Yard, looks at a memorial to the victims of the Navy Yard shooting on Wednesday. (Jacquelyn Martin / AP)
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A fund has been set up to help the 12 families who lost loved ones in the Sept. 16 Washington Navy Yard shooting.
Donations will be used to help pay for unmet needs such as assistance for attending memorial events, and other needs on a case-by-case basis, said Ami Neiberger-Miller, a spokeswoman for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). Some family members may have to travel. Other support programs are being provided, too.
For 19 years, TAPS has been providing support and assistance to families and other loved ones of service members who die while on active duty. But as they did after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon, TAPS is also providing support and care for the families of Defense Department civilian workers or defense contractors who died in this shooting.
The organization spoke with several of the families through its national helpline within hours of the shootings, Neiberger-Miller said. That number is 800-959-TAPS (8277). TAPS also sent staff members to the Navy Yard to provide assistance.
TAPS has an agreement with the Navy to provide bereavement support to Navy families, but doesn’t receive funds from the Navy; the charity is completely supported by donations.
Donations for these families specifically may be made to the Navy Yard Tragedy Family Support Fund online at www.taps.org/navyyard.