A trust fund set up to help freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout and her family recover from her 15-month kidnapping ordeal is receiving little interest among Canadians since her release, says a Calgary businessman.
People can walk into any Bank of Montreal branch and donate to the Amanda Lindhout Trust Fund. It’s been around since the end of October as one way to help the families of Lindhout and Nigel Brennan of Australia pay off a huge ransom and other costs associated with their safe release in Somalia on Nov. 25.
Lindhout’s father, Jon, lives in Sylvan Lake and several other family members live in Red Deer.
Michael Going, one of the trustees of the fund, said donations have been trickling in.
“They are small amounts and few and far between, so there’s not a lot of activity,” said Going on Friday.
Going said he expects the trust fund will remain open for some time.
“We still need to raise a certain amount of money and we’re trying to determine what those amounts are.”
He is not sure how much money has been collected at this point, but hopes to know a tally within a week’s time.
“There is also a separating of money raised, versus money put in by the family for mortgaging homes and things like that,” Going said.
Some of the trust monies will be used to pay the British security firm’s bill of several hundred thousand dollars. AKE negotiated the successful release of Lindhout and Brennan. It’s also expected the money will help with Lindhout’s recovery.
Lindhout, 28, returned to Alberta this week after spending some time recovering in Nairobi, Kenya.
Spokeswoman Sarah Geddes said on Friday that Lindhout will most likely issue a written statement next week.
Going said the trust fund will help both families initially since they’ve pooled resources.
Lindhout’s family began holding unpublicized fundraisers as a way to get enough ransom and at that same time not let the kidnappers know what they were doing. The fundraisers, held in Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House and other communities, raised a significant amount that went toward the ransom.
The total ransom paid has been reported at US$500,000 to US$600,000.