Transcript for Aurora Shooting Victims' Families Frustrated Over Charity Funds
My name's Tom -- about -- -- Behind me -- some members of the families whose loved ones were either killed or injured in -- theater -- incident on July 20 along with Alex. We want to thank the families for coming today it's very difficult for them. We want to thank the families that are supporting us from afar who don't have time to come here because they have to work -- have other obligations. We'd like to read a statement and then we'll take your questions. We've come this today to speak -- one voice. Representing the majority of the families who lost their loved ones in the Colorado theater tragedy. We're here because we want the public to know what's been going on behind the scenes in regards the funds. That have been raised using the names and faces of our loved ones supposedly on their behalf. Not that of all the victims. Within days of the shooting memorial funds were set up to help the families of all the victims. An organization called giving first endorsed by Colorado governor John Hickenlooper. Began collecting millions of dollars under the name the Aurora victim relief -- To date giving first this collected over five million dollars. From both the public and private. Corporations. We thank everyone forgiving and quite frankly were humbled by the generosity of the American public. We're certain that every one of donated. Their hard earned wages intended for a 100% of the donations. To go directly to the victims. In that each family affected would use those funds. For what they most needed to help their healing process. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case. In fact the first dispersed disbursement of funds went to ten area nonprofits. One with the Colorado. Organization for victims assistance also known as cobra which set up a committee that did not include any victim representation. To decide whom and what expenses the fund would -- The other nine dispersants. We're given -- nonprofit grants you know roar. In the meantime the giving first website continued collecting donations using the pictures and names of our loved one. To motivate donations without our permission. Promising this would go directly to the victims. However at the same time giving first announced that no checks would be cut directly to the -- What we found out about this we contacted giving first leadership and voiced our concerns. The initial reaction was there was nothing to be done. This was consistent with giving first mission statement. But this does not seem to be consistent. With how they solicited donations from the public. -- course took exception with that process. And pointed out that collecting funds that were to go directly to the victims. Using -- murdered loved ones pictures and names was not right. We wanted and still want to do nations going directly. Not just of the twelve families who lost loved ones but all of the victims help everyone he. Now we want to be clear. We define a victim. As anyone inside the theater or apartment complex. Who has been physically or emotionally harm warmer. As a direct result of the -- actions. We include their family members. It is an extremely inclusive definition.
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