Sharlene Bosma is trying to create something good in the wake of tragedy.
Bosma has started a charity for the families of homicide victims called "Tim's Tribute," named after her late husband, Tim. Tim Bosma was killed in May after leaving for a test drive from his Ancaster, Ont. home in the pickup he was trying to sell.
"The name 'Tim's Tribute' was chosen because a tribute is an act, statement or gift that is intended to show gratitude, respect and admiration," Bosma said.
"All these things we had for Tim."
The charity will begin working in the Hamilton area, but the Bosma family is hoping it will spread much further than that. Bosma says she was driven to start the charity based on an outpouring of goodwill from people all over.
'For the first time in almost three months, I have hope. Hope that there will be something good to come of what happened to Tim.' —Sharlene Bosma
"The community support was astounding and overwhelming," she said. "I'm fully aware that very few people are recipients of such generosity, and I feel compelled to try to change that."
"I have learned that there is very little support for families in our situation."
Bosma knows the immediate needs of a family that is dealing with a slain loved one all too well. Things like burial costs, headstone costs or even grocery gift cards.
There are also trial needs — covering lost wages for sitting in courtrooms instead of being able to work, transportation costs, and even lunch expenses.
Two events are already kicking off contributions to the charity. The Tim Bosma Memorial Motorcycle Ride that was held back in June in Kitchener, Ont. is becoming an annual event, Bosma says. The inaugural event raised $20,000 for the Bosma family.
A memorial concert being held by Martha's Trouble at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ont. on August 9 is also going to be generating funds for the charity, she says. Martha's Trouble wrote and recorded a song dedicated to the Bosmas with proceeds going to the family.
But the first donation to the fund actually comes from Sharlene Bosma herself.
To acknowledge all that other people have done for me and my daughter, and to say thank you to the community for the outpouring of their love and support, Tim's Tribute has an opening balance from my own contributions," she said. "It is my desire to be able to personally give back and help someone else."
"For the first time in almost three months, I have hope. Hope that there will be something good to come of what happened to Tim."
A website has been launched for the charity at Timstribute.ca. Donations can also be made directly to Christian Stewardship Services, Suite 214A - 500 Alden Road, Markham, Ont., L3R 5H5, payable to CSS with the memo notated to "Tim's Tribute".