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How to help the victims of the Colorado massacre

By Julie Hays, CNN
August 7, 2012 -- Updated 1412 GMT (2212 HKT)
Angella Aquilis, left, and Maria Olivas mourn at a makeshift memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theater.
Angella Aquilis, left, and Maria Olivas mourn at a makeshift memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theater.
  • The Aurora Victim Relief Fund has been created to help victims of the Colorado massacre
  • Several nonprofit organizations are providing direct support to those affected
  • Friends and family members have established various funds to help individual victims

(CNN) -- Aurora, Colorado, is a city in mourning after a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater, killing 12 and injuring 58. Friends, family members and those simply wanting to offer support have gathered together in remembrance services throughout the community.

For anyone wanting to extend their sympathy and words of support to those affected by the massacre, there are several ways to help.

The Aurora Victim Relief Fund has been established by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Community First Foundation to meet the immediate and long-term needs of victims and their families.

Stories of survival amidst the shooting

"We are very grateful and encouraged by the support so far for the victims in Aurora," Hickenlooper said in a news release. "The needs will be great, and we look forward to seeing the fund grow exponentially. This money will help those impacted by this tragedy begin to recover and rebuild their lives."

The fund has received $3.7 million in donations, according to Caitlin Jenney, communications manager for the Community First Foundation. Contributions can be made online through

At the request of the Aurora Police Department, the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance (COVA) is also coordinating donations on behalf of all victims and their families. Any donations received will be distributed to those affected based on need.

Go online for more information and to make a donation. Donations by check should be made out to COVA and include "Aurora Tragedy" in the memo line. Mail checks to COVA at 90 Galapago St., Denver, CO, 80223.

The Bonfils Blood Center provided more than 300 units of blood to hospitals caring for those injured in the shootings, according to a statement from the organization.

The center is accepting blood donations by appointment only. Call 303-363-2300 or go to the Bonfils website to make an appointment. You can also make a financial contribution online.

Donations to other nonprofit organizations providing direct support, including mental health services, for those affected by the tragedies can be made through

Friends and families members have also established various funds to meet the needs of individual victims and remember those who were killed.

Remembering the victims

Caleb Medley was among those injured. He is fighting for his life in the same hospital where his wife gave birth to their first child, Hugo, on July 24.

"We all know Caleb; we know he's a fighter; we know he's not going to stay out of that child's life for any length of time if he can avoid it," said Seth Medley, Caleb's brother.

Friends have set up a fund for the family to help with medical bills and other needs.

Jessica Ghawi was an aspiring sports broadcaster who went by the name Jessica Redfield on-air. Her family has created the Redfield Scholarship Fund to help others who dream of pursing careers in journalism.

Jonathan Blunk served five years in the U.S. Navy and leaves behind his wife, Chantel, and two children. Donations to help the family with funeral costs can made to the Jonathan Blunk Memorial Fund at any Wells Fargo branch location.

A website has been created in memory of 18-year-old A.J. Boik, where many people have posted memories and words of sympathy for Boik's friends and family. Donations in his honor can be made to the A.J. Boik Memorial Fund at any Wells Fargo Branch location.

Rebecca Wingo leaves behind two young daughters. A fund has been set up to help with the girls' education. More information on how to donate is available online.

Alex Teves died shielding his girlfriend from the gunfire. He had recently completed his master's degree in psychological counseling at the University of Denver. The Teves family has asked that memorial donations be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation in their son's name.

Ashley Moser was at the movie with her 6-year-old daughter, Veronica. The girl was among the 12 people killed, and Ashley suffered a miscarriage from the trauma she sustained during the shooting, according to her family. They have asked people to go to any Wells Fargo bank to contribute to the Donation Account for Ashley and Veronica Moser to help her in the months and years ahead.

A longtime movie lover, Alex Sullivan was in theater nine celebrating his 27th birthday. He died two days shy of his first wedding anniversary. A website has been created where people can post words of support and contribute to the Alex Sullivan Fund. Donations will go to the Sullivan family and the We Can Be Heroes charity.

Aurora heroes: Three who gave their lives

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