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Nashville man overwhelmed by global outpouring, raises $285,000 for Covenant School

<i></i><br/>Nashville author and speaker Carlos Whittaker raised almost $285
Lawrence, Nakia

Nashville author and speaker Carlos Whittaker raised almost $285

By Lydia Fielder

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    NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) — Nashville author and speaker Carlos Whittaker raised almost $285,000 in 24 hours for The Covenant School.

Specifically, Whittaker said, the money will be earmarked for therapy for parents and faculty at the school.

Donations came from all 50 states and even a few different countries, including Argentina, Canada, Tanzania and Scotland.

“I just had the idea, what if we raised enough money for every single parent, or caregiver of a survivor, to go to therapy at least four times?” Whittaker said.

As they help their children navigate life after surviving the mass shooting, the parents of their students are navigating their own trauma.

“A lot of parents that I don’t know are just DMing me their long stories about what their kids saw, and how scared they are as parents to send their kids back,” Whittaker said. ”They don’t know what to do. The parents are having panic attacks.”

Whittaker said he did the math, and $110,000 would cover four therapy sessions for each parent or caregiver at Covenant. He posted on Instagram, asking his followers to donate online to reach that goal within 24 hours.

Within one hour, donations had already reached $60,000. The initial $110,000 was met in four hours.

That prompted Whittaker to raise the goal to include therapy for the 42 faculty and staff members as well. That made it $130,000, once again, shattered.

In total, at the 24-hour mark, people donated over $275,000. As of Monday afternoon, Whittaker said donations total nearly $285,000 and counting.

He said he has received countless Instagram messages from Covenant parents.

“This is what she said, she said, ‘I don’t know who you are. Somebody sent me your page, and I’m sitting here weeping because the fact that there are thousands of strangers that don’t even know me – don’t even love me – pouring into the healing of my family,’” Whittaker said.

A Covenant parent who wanted to remain unnamed told WSMV4 they are grateful for this money and have already started therapy since the shooting.

“The Nashville community and beyond has left us speechless. We are forever thankful. God is TRULY near the broken hearted. It is a powerful moment when you see this kind of Light covering up the darkness,” they said in a statement.

This money will go straight to The Covenant School’s nonprofit strictly earmarked for therapy for years to come.

“Literally, your money is helping to heal the hearts of these families for a long time to come,” Whittaker said. “This isn’t a one and done thing. We here in Nashville don’t just get to turn around and the news cycle goes to the next thing, right? Like we are living and walking in trauma and grief on a daily basis. I just want to look at you if you gave money towards this and say that you saw them, and you freed them. And that’s what it’s all about.”

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