Community members have established a fund for the families of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom to pay the expenses they incur during trial. Three local firefighters partnered with SunTrust Bank to create a fund for the families. Donations will be accepted during the month of September 2009.
The families did not start the funds, nor are they soliciting donations–however, they have indicated they would accept economic help during this trying time. Hugh and Mary Newsom have previously indicated they are retired. The trial and hearings in other cities, however, have required them to travel. Gary and Deena Christian are still working but take unpaid time off attending hearings and trial.Donations are tax-deductible. The families have indicated they will be donating excess donations to the East Tennessee Victims Rights Task Force. SunTrust is accepting donations at any of its locations through September:
Newsom-Christian Family Benefit Fund -Suntrust Bank Account # 1000096338065
Branch locator link: https://www.suntrust.com/portal/server.pt?space=CommunityPage&control=SetCommunity&PageID=0&CommunityID=1250