When the Burns initially found themselves facing the accusation of child abuse and the removal of Naomi from their family, they could not forsee all that would be required of them in the battle for their daughter. Once the Burns realized the situation was not a simple misunderstanding and that they had really lost their daughter, the devastation was earthshattering. While trying to comprehend what had just happened, the Burns had to find an attorney who could lead them through the struggle to regain their family. Thankfully, the Burns were able to find an experienced attorney who is one of the most knowledgeable attorneys in the state on the issue of Abusive Head Trauma (aka: Shaken Baby Syndrome). The amount of time, research, and work involved in such a complicated medical case is extensive and costly. In order to retain their attorney and begin the process of bringing Naomi home, the Burns had to drain their savings and cash out both of their retirement accounts. Of course they did not give this a second thought. No parent would. As the weeks went on the Burns, as well as their family and friends, realized how incredibly costly the fight would actually be. All of the Burns’ money (above and beyond their bare bones, essential living expenses) and their families’ money went toward their case (and still does).
Soon friends, church members and extended family began to ask how they could donate money to the Burns’ case and The Josh Burns Benevolence Fund was established. In order to manage donations responsibly and ethically, it was decided the fund should be set up and administered by two people who were not part of the Burns family and that Josh and Brenda would not be able to access the funds directly. This would help assure donors that the funds were being used for their intended purpose.
Donations are used primarily to pay for Josh and Brenda’s legal fees and costs. Along with attorney fees, a large amount of donations have been used for expert witness costs. Many of the doctors who worked with the defense spent 30 to 40 plus hours just reviewing Naomi’s extensive medical records and researching her condition. Studying this case and testifying in court also took time away from their own practices. Over the past year, Josh has lost a substantial amount of wages, so on a few occasions money from the fund has gone toward paying for an essential living cost for the Burns such as rent. Donations also go toward slowly paying down Brenda’s court fees assessed by Judge Cavanaugh. These court fees include the fees for Brenda’s court appointed attorney and Naomi’s court appointed Ad Litem.
The Burns are incredibly thankful and humbled by the amount of money family, friends and even strangers have donated to their case. The task ahead is daunting as they still have substantial attorney fees to pay down and will be incurring extensive fees as they move forward with appeals. If you feel led to financially partner with the Burns in the fight for their family and for justice you can donate here. If you would like to donate but you have questions about how your donation will be used, that is understandable and we welcome you to fill out the contact form here. Your message will be forwarded to one of the Benevolence Fund administrators who will contact you and discuss any questions you may have.