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"I was shot in the mass shooting in the Aurora theater mass shooting in 2012, and I just want to thank VictimsFirst for always supporting me and my family through the hard times. I'm so grateful for them to be in my life. Thank you so much for the support and thank you for all the good things that you do in this world for other shooting victims and other mass shooting families that go through things ... I thank you so much for being there with me and being there for me. I love you guys and continue the good work." – Stefan Moton, former kickboxer who was shot and catastrophically injured (now a quadriplegic) in the Aurora theater mass shooting on July 20, 2012

“VictimsFirst was an invaluable resource in the aftermath of my injuries. They helped my family pay bills and buy food when we weren't sure how that was going to be possible. And not only that, but they checked in with us and proactively offered more assistance when they had the funds available. We owe part of our stability to VictimsFirst.” – Dylan Henry, a wounded survivor of the Lewiston, ME mass shooting on Oct. 27, 2023

“My name is Mallory and I am a surviving victim of the mass shooting that occurred at the Allen Outlet Mall in Allen, TX on May 6th, 2023. I crashed my car trying to back away from the shooter as he shot at my car. The VictimsFirst organization paid my car insurance deductible and paid for a rental car so that I was not without a vehicle while the insurance claim went through. I'm forever grateful that the VictimsFirst organization was able to help me in my time of need so that I could focus on healing and getting back to normal life instead of worrying about unexpected bills,” – Mallory Reed, survivor of the Allen Premium Outlet Mall shooting in Allen, TX on May 6, 2023.

“I would like to take the time to first thank all the ones who have donated towards VictimsFirst because with those donations, the assistance of VictimsFirst has made it possible to help me at a crucial moment in my life. They have made it possible to make those crucial moments stress less. I really appreciate all those times they came through for my family and me from the bottom of my heart." -- A Mom whose child survived the mass shooting in Uvalde, TX on May 24, 2022

“My name is Passion. I am a Pulse nightclub massacre survivor. I was referred to VictimsFirst by another Pulse survivor. When I reached out to them, someone called me back right away. As SOON as funds were available, they assisted me with funds that helped me out tremendously, as I was in financial hardship. And every minute was crucial so I could save my house, and they understood. I am super grateful for this organization. They helped me twice so far. And I am so grateful to say that I am caught up so my 10 year-old and I can and will continue to be living in our home, surely because of the organization's help.” – Passion A. Suarez, survivor of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL on June 12, 2016.

"What I witnessed was like nothing I've ever seen. It turned my life upside down. I was pretty much living a normal life and then PTSD, and I really struggled. And, if it wasn't for VictimsFirst coming. I reached out to them, and it was within minutes that they reached out to me and helped. There wasn't really a lot of help for someone like me who didn't get shot or gratefully get killed. It seems that VictimsFirst was the only ones who helped the invisible wounds I had all over. I owe everything to them because I think they helped me survive that year. I would personally like to thank Anita for still being touch with me and that's how amazing this VictimsFirst is is that they follow-through and stay with you and help you. If it's not financial, it's a lot of other things. I'm grateful that I was helped by them and couldn't have done this, continue, without their help, and I hope they can help many, many other people along the way because they are amazing." – Beth Herz, survivor of the Highland Park parade shooting on July 4, 2022 who was not eligible for the Highland Park July 4th Shooting Response Fund who gave instead to local area nonprofits

“My family was caught in the middle of a mass shooting at a 4th of July parade in 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois – which is historically known for being a safe and tight-knit community. The community has many affluent and well-educated people, and I actually chose to move nearby due to the safety index of the community. This was the first public event we went to after moving to the community in August 2021. I had just stuck my son in his stroller when the gunshots rang out. People near me looked around, and we all thought it was firecrackers, since it was the 4th of July. Then the screaming happened, and everyone started running. We were right across the street from where people lost their lives and a boy was paralyzed. Another little boy was orphaned that day. We were lucky to survive, but we have forever been changed – my whole family (my son, myself, and my son's Dad). The shooting brought about a trauma I would never wish on anyone. I didn't feel safe going into public anymore. I told my employer I couldn't work for a while as I worked at a school and didn't feel safe working or sending my son to school for the time being. I was fired.

So I reached out to VictimsFirst as well as started a GoFundMe. But VictimsFirst was honestly more helpful for me in paying my bills at a time where I didn't feel safe in the world and couldn't work. It helped for a couple of months of bills, and thankfully I was able to find a job as a nanny, where I could work in the privacy of a home in a safe neighborhood. I am forever grateful for the help I received during the hardest time of my life. I hope no one ever has to utilize the resources due to witnessing a traumatic event like a shooting, but if they do, it's good to know that there are financial resources to ease some burden during the initial healing process. It just made things a little bit easier.” – Kelsey, a survivor of the Highland Park, IL 4th of July Parade shooting on July 4, 2022 who was not eligible for the Highland Park July 4th Shooting Response Fund who gave instead to local area nonprofits.

“Teachers are typically very resilient and independent, but they are also quite resourceful - and this is how I ended up finding VictimsFirst and Anita Busch when I desperately needed help after our Tragedy in Parkland. My name is Ivy Schamis and I taught in Room 1214 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida for almost two decades. On Valentine's Day, 2018, a former student came into the school with an AR-15 with the goal of being a "famous school shooter". He entered the 1200 building and shot into 3 classrooms on the first floor - mine was one of them. He murdered two precious students and injured four more inside my classroom. My two students were among the 14 students and three adult staff members who were killed that tragic day. It has been six years and we are all still suffering. Many attend therapy, some use medications, or meditation to ease the pain. Some of us however, have Service Dogs who are trained to help with PTSD, and when I knew that is what would help me, I researched some resources that could give me some aid.

Although many organizations promised to help Mass Shooting Survivors, VictimsFirst really meant it. I spoke to Anita after I found Steadfast Service Dogs and VictimsFirst kick-started my fundraising efforts by donating the first payment, and I am forever grateful. Sayde, my service dog, is on her way to being my healer, my comfort, and my task-trained dog that I can lean on when I am nervous, panicked, and scared. So, thank you VictimsFirst for being the Helpers!!” – Ivy Schamis, survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, FL on Feb. 14, 2018.

"I was visiting from India to spend time with my family and a trip to the mall became the most difficult period of my life. I am a victim of the Allen mall shooting and VictimsFirst was the sole organization helping us from Day one to full recovery. Given my visitor status, I was informed that the usual government support would not be provided for us. VictimsFirst helped us financially when we needed it the most and supported us to get financial aid from the hospitals. They were our biggest strength and pillar in getting through these difficult times - they helped us get through with the right doctors, nurses, physical therapy, and constantly followed up with us trying to have our every requirement taken care of! If there were any follow-ups to be done, they did it for us, trying to make it as easy as possible for us to focus on just healing and getting through. Anita was one person my family could call at any point for the smallest anxiety and in every emergency and she and her team would be on top of things, trying to make our already rough journey as smooth as possible. Navigating a situation like this would have been next to impossible without VictimsFirst and Anita! She and her entire team were Godsend Angels who helped us immensely during this stressful situation post-shooting. We can’t thank you enough for all the help and support!!!" – P. Patel, catastrophically wounded victim from the Allen Premium Outlet Mall shooting in Allen, TX on May 6, 2023.

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