COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Healing Fund has raised millions of dollars to help the families affected by March’s shooting in Boulder. They want to do the same for the family affected by this month’s shooting at a Colorado Springs birthday party, but they need some help.
In the face of tragedy, there is hope. Look no further than Frank DeAngelis.
“I think back to where we were 22 years ago,” DeAngelis said.
He was principal at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, leading the charge to heal the community after the tragedy.
“We had all these resources coming in but just trying to keep track or have a clearing house… we didn’t have it," he said.
And as we know all too well in Colorado, tragedies kept happening.
“I made a comment right after Columbine that I just joined a club in which no one wants to be a member,” DeAngelis said. “And unfortunately that membership continues to grow.”
It’s why in 2017, he got on board with the Colorado Healing fund. The fund activates in the wake of major tragedies.
“Really, why I strongly believe in this fund is we’re working with the families,” he said.
It activated in march when 10 people lost their lives in a Boulder King Soopers.
“We reached out to COVA which is the Colorado Organization of Victim Assistance and they’re working with the families,” he said.
Working with them to not only provide things like funeral assistance, but long term things like therapy and trauma services.
But that wouldn’t be the last time the fund was activated.
“And just recently the Colorado Springs Event happened, we were activated again,” DeAngelis said.
The family who lost six members while celebrating a birthday earlier this month has a lot on their plate.
“Unfortunately three of the children, their parents were killed,” he said. “And we look at not only the immediate needs that are facing these families, but the long term needs.”
Not only do funerals come at a cost, but so does coping with loss.
“They’ve got to decide.. There is no way that we can go back into this house where this happened because it triggers so many emotions,” he said.
But those costs can only be covered one way.
“To implement this program, we need funds,” he said.
After boulder, the support came out strong.
“Boulder at this point, $4.3 million has been raised,” he said.
But two weeks after the Colorado Springs tragedy--
“For Colorado Springs at this time about $8200,” DeAngelis said.
It’s not a matter of comparing tragedies.
“It’s not a competition, who suffered more,” he said. “These people lost their lives. These people, family members, these children lost their parents.”
What it is about, is making sure people know they’re here to help with this tragedy too.
“We are working with the people who really know the direct needs,” he said.
If you want to donate to the Colorado Healing Fund, you can do so on its website.