Tri Met Heroes
$586,714 of $600,000 goal
Two men were killed today because they stood up for two Muslim women who were being harassed on Tri-Met by a racist. Another was injured.
They are heroes, yet their families are not only going to be faced with the pain of losing people they love, but with financial hardships from their passings.
I've started this GoFundMe to help them with costs as a result of their deaths and injuries. All donations will go to the victim's families. Hopefully the goal is just a starting point. They will certainly need more than this. And no amount of money will ever lessen their heartbreak.
I have been getting more messages than I can keep up with asking who I am and why they should trust me. I'm working a 12 hour shift today at work so it's more difficult than normal. However, I thought I would update this with some information:
1) I started this because I was looking around for somewhere to donate to the families of these heroic victims and couldn't find anywhere. I lamented this online and then thought, well, why shouldn't I just do it. So I did.
2) I am not a member of the families or a close friend. I learned I have a friend who is related to Ricky Best, but only after I started this. I have reached out to the families, but they are understandably concerned with more important things right now and most likely grieving for their terrible losses. I am patiently awaiting someone from the families to help direct the donations where they belong.
3) GoFundMe gives 30 days to indicate where the donations will go. While I didn't know exactly where they would go when I began this, I figured I would have time to figure it out. I will be transparent about where all the money goes and it will only go to the families of the victims. I just wanted to help and didn't know if it would be as successful as it has.
4) I am a restaurant owner in town who also occasionally writes for Willamette Week. You can find me on Twitter or Facebook as Nick Zukin or "extramsg". Others in the restaurant industry can vouch for my credibility as can people in the food press.
5) I have been talking with people at both GoFundMe and the Portland Mayor's Office in order to make sure that the process of distributing the funds is fully transparent and verified.
6) I am impressed and proud of our city's generosity. These guys stood up for what was right and paid the ultimate price. I'm glad we are helping their families as a community.
The two men killed, plus the one injured, and the two young women
The one man injured
The young women
Just to be clear: I am not anti-Black Lives Matter and this campaign is being verified by both GoFundMe and the Portland Mayor's Office to insure that all funds go the families of the victims and that the distribution of the funds is transparent. So even if you think I am a horrible person, please know that every dime is going to the families of the victims. If you would rather give to another campaign, great. But please don't avoid giving because you don't like me. This campaign should not be about me. I did not do this for "PR". The press has rightfully focused on the families of the victims and has directed people to this campaign because this campaign took on a life of its own in social media. I don't believe any press has written about me in regards to this campaign and I would hope they wouldn't. The focus should be on the families and the victims. I have only given more information about myself and my business after people requested more information to verify the legitimacy of this campaign. The only reason I started this campaign was because the night of the tragedy I posted on social media that I wished there was somewhere to give. After searching and searching, I could not find anywhere. Then I thought maybe I should just start it and thought it would be a good way for my friends to give and I could figure out how to attach it to another campaign later on or turn it over to the families to administer. I did not expect it to become a national focus for support for these families.
Jagger Blaec's comment is false. I have responded to every email sent through GoFundMe today -- and there have been many --, plus updated the description of this campaign long before she commented to give more information about myself and the goals of this campaign in order to answer people's questions and concerns. I have also been responding to private emails, messages on facebook and twitter, and phone calls, all while working a 12 hour shift at my restaurant. I have tried very hard to be transparent. Jagger is a reporter and should know better than making such false statements about someone. That it is done to undermine an effort to help people is shameful.
I am the Sister of Ricky Best. You can either reach out to me or I can connect you with his oldest son. Ricky had four children and we'd like them to be provided for and have a college education. This kind gesture means so much to them and I want to say thank you.
To Casey Szot. You clearly have never ran a gofundme campaign. One cannot just "take the money" out. There is a process that must be gone through for the money to be dispersed by the site. And the attempt to make it about the person who started the campaign rather than the actual victims tells me that you seem to be the one looking for attention. Peace Out.
May Allah (God) rest our brothers' precious souls in peace ! Nick , i can not thank you enough for doing this to support great cause ! May God bless you, your family, and everyone supports this cause . May the peace prevail on earth . Sending prayers and love on behalf of the Muslim's community in Lansing, MI
Nick, Rather than doubt your sincerity, I would like to thank you for jumping on the wagon to get this page started. Like so many, you could have shared their story, felt bad and moved on. However you too the initiative to help others in need. It wasn't "your problem" but you rose up to help be part of the solution. You too my friend are a hero!