Survivors of Aurora Theater Massacre Speak out against Charity Group Claiming to Help Them
A charitable organization collecting money on behalf of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting victims has been publicly criticized by families of those killed.
Giving First has collected more than $5 million under the name of the Aurora Victim Relief Fund. So far, however, it has released only $350,000 to the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance (COVA), and this occurred only after some families threatened to go public with their concerns.
A press conference was held this week, during which 18 family members declared the money raised should go directly to the victims and survivors of the July 20 shooting that killed 12 and wounded 58 people. They also asked for more say in how the money is distributed. “The victims have no voice at all,” Tom Teves, whose son, Alex, was killed in the shooting, told the media.
Teves added that, “The Giving First website continues collecting donations using the pictures and names of our loved ones to motivate donations without our permission (and by) promising this would go ‘directly to the victims.’”
COVA executive director Nancy Lewis said she couldn’t comment on the matter because of a gag order placed by a local judge.
The 7/20 Recovery Committee charged with distributing the donations does not include any victims or their families. 7/20 Committee spokesman Rich Audsley said, “This committee will not be having the victims decide how the dollars are allocated. It will be done by the committee with input by victims.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Theater Shooting Victims Angry Over Relief Fund (by Thomas Hendrick, Channel 7 News Denver)
Aurora Massacre Victims and Families Want More Say in Victims' Fund (by Electa Draper and Jordan Steffen, Denver Post)
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