Sunday, August 19, 2012

How To Donate To Aurora Shooting Victims

How To Donate To Aurora Shooting Victims - The process of distributing millions of dollars to the victims of the Aurora theater shooting is now well underway. Of the $4.4 million raised so far through, close to a half million has been distributed to help the theater shooting victims. Friday, the 7/20 Recovery Committee announced a $350,000 grant to the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance. It followed an earlier distribution of $100,000 from the fund.

“The community has been so generous, but the needs are so huge. So there will be a lot of difficult decisions on how to allocate and address the needs that are there,” said Marla Williams, the President and CEO of the Community First Foundation, the foundation in charge of the fundraising website.

In a press release, the Aurora Victim Relief Fund announced that “attempts are being made to contact each family regarding (the COVA) disbursement.”

COVA can be reached at 1-800-261-2682. Crisis counselors are available through Aurora Mental Health at 303-617-2300. Other information can be accessed through

Dozens of other accounts are set up to pay for the rehab and recovery of specific victims. It’s money for people like Farrah Soudani. She’s still in the hospital.

Most of her medical bills thus far are covered, but it’s when she leaves the hospital she’ll need the money coming from the Farrah Soudani Irrevocable Special Needs Trust fund. It’s filled by the generosity of complete strangers.

Kenneth Feinberg, an attorney in New York, helped oversee, among other things, the 9/11 Victims’ Fund, the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund for victims of the Virginia Tech shootings, and the BP Oil Spill Fund. On Friday, he told 9News by phone that there will be no ideal way to distribute the funds fairly.

“How can you talk of fairness to people who unfairly have been the victims of a horrible tragedy?” he said. “I don’t think you go into a program like this expecting fairness or gratitude.”

He also advised against too much micromanagement of fund dispersal.

“Don’t put yourself in the shoes of the victims,” he said. “Let the victims, if they are to receive compensation, let them have the compensation. Let them decide what is an appropriate use of those funds.”

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