Saturday, July 21, 2012

Aurora, Colorado: How can you help?

Updated with additional links 7/23/12

On Friday, July 20, 2012 a gunman attacks an Aurora, Colorado movie theater.  He killed at least 12 and wounded many others. 
20 minutes into the movie, in Theater 9 James Holmes entered the exit door to the right of the screen, threw in tear gas and then starts firing into the crowd.
I can’t imagine the fear and panic that immediately flooded the people in that theater.  It’s something I don’t want to imagine.  It’s something that I can’t wrap my head around.  How does someone have it in them to do this?
While I have been reading articles about this since I got to work yesterday morning and have been somewhat immersed in the story, I don’t want to focus on the man, James Holmes.  Part of me doesn’t even want to include his name in this blog.  I don’t want all the focus to be on him.  Honestly, I don’t want to learn more about him.  I don’t want to hear about how “normal” he was, and how no one thought he could ever do something like this.  The fact is he did it, and I hope he pays tremendously for his crime.  But, my focus here today is about what I can do, what you can do, to help the victims of this tragedy.  I have been searching for links about what aid is available at this time, and I haven’t been able to find many.  I hope to keep searching and find other things that I can update the blog with.  But this is what I’ve found.

Thrive With Confidence has organized a local gathering and donation drive in Aurora, CO., aimed at supporting the community during this time of need.  They will provide support for those affected.  Donations, such as food and bottled water are encouraged.  Donations can be delivered directly to the Rec Center at 15528 East Hampden Circle, Aurora, CO 80013.
For more information visit their Facebook Page

Simply choose "American Red Cross Colorado Chapters" to donate directly to the Aurora, CO area.

Bonfil Blood Center

If you follow this link you can search by location on where you can donate blood. The neat thing about this site is it shows permanent locations and blood drives. The center in Colorado has been booked solid since yesterday but you can set up an appointment for a set time to donate.  They have sent approximately 342 units of blood to 5 local hospitals treating the victims.  
They particularly need O-negative and A-negative blood to replenish their supply.

Huffington Post Impact/Crowdrise Fundraiser

"Your contribution will go to the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that funds relief projects.  New Venture will distribute donations to organizations such as charities, churches and hospitals supporting the families of victims.  In some istances, donations will go to directly to families.  Donations accepted here."

Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance

COVA helps heal those who have been affected by crime.  COVA is working with the Aurora Police Department to coordinate donations for victims of Friday's mass shooting.  To donate:  Send a check to COVA at 90 Galapagos Street, Denver, CO 80223 or at Giving First.

You can also follow them on facebook and twitter for updates and information.

If family or friends need to check the status of a family member they can call 303-739-1862 or 303-739-1863.

United Way Denver

United Way is working to reunite families with lost loved ones who they believe may have been victims of the Aurora shooting.  Those looking for missing relatives can contact the organization's 211 hotline for help.

To support United Way Denver, click here.

I know this list isn't much.  But if at least one person could donate because they saw the links here, then it's worth my time.  Like I said, I will continue to research and hopefully be able to add more things to the list.

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