You raised a boatload of money for Catelynn and Tyler; here's what's going to happen with it.
It's taken us awhile to issue an official update to the thousands — truly thousands — of individuals who donated to the fund Tracie started, but working out the logistics with Tyler and Catelynn has been a slow process and, out of respect to the parties involved, we agreed to refrain from making an announcement until everything was settled (and thanks for your patience in the meantime). But we've ironed out business, due in no small part to an excellent pro-bono estate-planning attorney in Michigan (who just happens to be named Victor Coen — if you have local connections, you have to work 'em), and now we can fill you in.
We're happy — no, thrilled — to announce that Catelynn and Tyler will be receiving $14,000 raised by Jezebel readers. Related: you guys are awesome.
I just spoke on the phone with Tyler this morning, and he was pretty moved. Earlier he texted me (from class! Kids these days!) to say as much:
The heart melts. (And he knows it's all of you who did this, not just one person.)
What's next: we'll be splitting the funds straight down the middle; $7,000 for each of them. Of that, we'll be placing at least $2,500 apiece with Barnes & Noble, which offers textbooks (Tyler was pretty excited about this; more on that in a second). The rest is being placed in a client-trust account; once the 1099 business is good to go, they will receive their checks for the remaining cash from said account. The money will be delivered in person when Catelynn, Tyler, and the lawyer can find a mutually agreeable time (and we'll let you know as soon as that happens).
As for Catelynn and Tyler: they're both doing really well. Tyler finishes high school in a few weeks, and in January he'll be starting at Baker College (which is why he's really happy about the B&N deal). He plans to major in human services and ultimately wants to get into social work or HR of some sort. Catelynn, meanwhile, is on track to graduate in March. She's not yet made a decision about her college plans, but she wants to do something with law enforcement. The two were particularly excited to see their daughter Carly walking during the MTV reunion with her adoptive parents. And more importantly, Tyler reports that Carly was a ladybug for Halloween and managed to walk up to five doorsteps. For a new walker, that's pretty impressive.
I have to say, talking to Tyler was probably one of the best phone calls of my life. He is so surprised and excited and, really, amazed by your generosity. These are good kids, and you've done a really good thing. If you're not already rolling around in a pile of warm fuzzies, please begin doing so now.