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Continued support for victims of Key Bridge tragedy

Posted at 6:12 PM, May 31, 2024

BALTIMORE — After six men were killed while on the job, filling potholes on the Key Bridge, the support for the families was felt right away. People offered their time, money, and resources. Sadly, that type of support often dwindles; people move on and forget. That isn't the case here.

Citing continued interest, the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MIMA) decided not to shut down its fundraisertoday. It'll stay open through August 31.

"We were actually getting calls about when it was closing, and why it was closing so early, and we continue to get donations on a daily basis, so we made the decision to extend the fund," Catalina Rodriguez-Lima, founding director of MIMA, said.

So far, the fund has amassed close to $850,000 in donations, from thousands of people all across the globe.

"Now we've exited the phase of funerals, repatriation, traveling to their countries of origin, and now we're really focusing on basic needs like rent, utilities. The families need the support because many of the individuals who passed away were the heads of their household," Rodriguez-Lima told WMAR-2 News.

It's a tragedy that shook Baltimore's immigrant community. On Friday, an annual event that brings immigration advocates together, the Baltimore Immigration Summit, took on new meaning.

"I feel like a lot of our community members see themselves in the six people - in the families of the six men, and in their journeys of coming to the U.S. They are grieving just as much with the families," Rodriguez-Lima said.

Mayor Brandon Scott took a moment to recognize the people who've helped connect the victims' families with resources, like case managers.

"I'm particularly grateful for everyone's insistence in assuring that we never lost sight of the most impacted - the lives that were taken from us and the families and community that bore the brunt of the tragic loss."

Part of the ongoing support from the city will include ensuring their stories aren't forgotten. The city is working to find a new, permanent home for thetemporary memorialthat was set up near the entrance to Fort Armistead Park.

"What we have heard from the families is that they see their loved ones as heroes and want people to remember that," Rodriguez-Lima said.

You can donate here.