The fundraiser far surpassed its initial goal of $10,000 to support the children of late teacher Irma Garcia.
Over $2.5 million has been raised through a GoFundMe campaign to support the children of a teacher who died in the Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting which took the lives of 19 elementary school students and two educators.
Irma Garcia, 46, died alongside fellow teacher Eva Mireles as they tried to protect their fourth-grade students during the mass shooting on Tuesday. Days later, Irma’s husband Joe Garcia, 50, died of cardiac arrest. They are survived by their four children ranging in age from 12 to 23, PEOPLE reported.
Law enforcement personnel walk outside Uvalde High School after shooting a was reported earlier in the day at Robb Elementary School, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)
“She loved her classroom kids and died trying to protect them,” wrote Debra Austin, Irma’s cousin, on the GoFundMe page. “Please donate anything you can to help her family. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Garcia family for various expenses. Thank you and God bless.”
The GoFundMe campaign has already far surpassed its initial goal of $10,000, with Mediaite reporting that Pulte Capitol CEO Bill Pulte played a key role in spreading the word by tweeting it out to his follower base of over three million.
“Please know, and let people know on behalf of the family, I’m more than grateful and elated at the overwhelming love and support, whether it be the kind words, the donations or even just spreading the word, it means a lot to us,” John Martinez, Irma’s nephew, told the Detroit Free Press.
Martinez told PEOPLE that he wants his aunt to be remembered as someone who sacrificed her life for the children around her. “They weren’t just her students. Those were her kids, and she put her life on the line, she lost her life to protect them. That’s the type of person she was,” he said.
A semiautomatic rifle made by Daniel Defense was reportedly used by the gunman, who between May 18 and 20 legally purchased two AR-style guns as well as 375 rounds of ammunition just after turning the legal age of 18, the Texas Tribune reported.
Other verified GoFundMe campaigns have been set up for family members of those who died in the mass shooting, all of which are available here.
Among them is a GoFundMe campaign for 11-year-old student Miah Cerillo, who said she covered herself in blood and played dead while the shooter was inside the building, according to CNN. She is now reportedly experiencing trauma-related ailments as a result.
Student Kendall Olivarez was shot in the shoulder and has sustained “bullet fragments on her right leg and tailbone,” which will require multiple surgeries, according to her aunt Jennifer, the creator of her fundraiser.
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