Aurora Families Complain Relief Fund Is Sitting on $5M

Very little has actually gone to the families, they say
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2012 8:30 AM CDT

The Aurora Victims Relief Fund has raised $5 million so far, but the actual victims of the theater massacre and their families have only seen a small portion of that. Giving First, the nonprofit that set up the fund, raised the money "using our murdered loved ones' pictures and names," said Tom Teves, whose son, Alex, died shielding his girlfriend, at a press conference yesterday. Giving First promised the money donated would go directly to victims' families, but "unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case," he said, according to ABC News.

Only $350,000 has been distributed so far—$5,000 to each of the 70 families—and that was only after the families began complaining. Priority for disbursement has been given to nonprofit organizations, and one of those organizations—the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance—has distributed a small amount of the fund money to families. COVA insists that 100% of the money that comes in goes to crime victims, but wouldn't comment on the Aurora victims specifically, and now says it's been placed under a gag order. A rep for Gov. John Hickenlooper, who supported the fund, promises that families "have received money and other services" and "will receive more." (Read more Aurora, Colorado stories.)

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