Three months after the death of her husband, Tim, Sharlene Bosma has set up a trust fund as a tribute to him. She made the first donation.
“I had such an appreciation for what other people had done for me,” she said, “that I wanted to find a way to pay it forward.”
In early May, Tim Bosma left with two men to test drive a truck he was trying to sell. He never returned. A week later, police found his body. Two men have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
The day those men appeared in a Hamilton, Ontario, courtroom, Bosma announced that she had set up Tim’s Tribute, a fund she hopes will help others who find themselves in a similar situation but without the help she received.
As news of Bosma’s disappearance and subsequent death spread through the media, a trust fund was set up for Bosma and her 2-year-old daughter.
“Without [the trust fund], I wouldn’t be keeping a roof over my head,” she said. “A lot of people in my situation wouldn’t have that [support]. There’s a real gap and a real need here, and I can help address that.”
Bosma said the fund will be administered through Christian Stewardship Services and that her own congregation, Ancaster (Ontario) Christian Reformed Church, will be involved.
Bosma said she is grateful to the CRC, not just her own church but the other congregations in Ontario attended by family members. She received cards from all over North America, many from people in the CRC community.
“I don’t know where I would be in my faith if I didn’t know where Tim is now and that I will see him again someday,” she said. “The CRC [showed] such a great testament of what a church community is, and the whole world got to see it.”
One of the reasons Bosma set up the fund is for her daughter, so that years from now, when she looks up her daddy’s name online, “it will bring something positive she can read besides just horrible details, something she can be proud of.”
Bosma said the fund will initially help people in the Hamilton-Wentworth region. “I received a lot of support here,” she said. “This is a way to say thank you.”
Bosma hopes Tim’s Tribute can address two stages of need when a loved one is taken in such horrific circumstances. The first is the immediate crisis, she said, especially with the delay in the body being released and the death certificate issued. “Suddenly you’re left for weeks on end with no income. Tim was the main income earner. I was left with nothing. Until you’re in the situation, you don’t think of that. We can address that immediate crisis by helping people with groceries or gas, basic day-to-day needs.”
After speaking with Victim’s Services in Hamilton, she identified further needs, such as costs during the trial stage: lost wages, parking costs, and meals.
She hopes the funds can also help with other needs such as burial costs.
“We didn’t have a burial plot or a headstone picked out. We had all the time in the world,” she said. “And then we didn’t.”