$9M in gifts to Columbine – Funds aid victims, community projects

An estimated $9 million in gifts has reached Columbine from around the world following last year’s massacre, The Associated Press reports.

The Healing Fund – established by the United Way hours after the massacre – has channeled almost $5 million in donations to victim assistance and community outreach programs.

“Because these were children and because the images being broadcast out of Columbine were so compelling – that’s the only explanation I have for a the response,” said Kelley Cahill, vice president of Mile High United Way.

About 80 percent of the donations to United Way came from corporations and 20 percent from individuals, Cahill told AP. Half of the donations came from outside Colorado.

The families of slain victims each received $50,000, and four students with spinal-cord or brain injuries received $150,000 each. The 21 other physically injured children received $10,000 each, AP says.

The largest Healing Fund grant was $425,000 to serve the mental health needs of the Columbine community. The Fund concluded its work last fall to make room for more specialized funds with specific goals, AP reports.

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