There has been no shortage of agonizing and unimaginable stories from last week’s deadly shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Among the carnage was the horrific murder of teacher Irma Garcia.
Garcia, 46, was among the 19 children and two teachers slain when a gunman entered Robb Elementary School last Tuesday. Two days later, her husband, Joe Garcia, 50, died from what family members believe was a broken heart.
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The couple’s tragic deaths made international headlines, but the deeper trauma at the center of the story surrounds the four children they left behind, who range in age from 12 to 23.
Amid the family’s unimaginable pain, the public has come through to help out in a truly incredible way.
A woman named Debra Austin, who identified herself as Irma Garcia’s cousin, launched a GoFundMe with a goal of raising $10,000 for the Garcia children left behind.
Just days later, the fundraiser crushed its goal and skyrocketed to $2.7 million — and counting.
Austin said she is deeply moved by the shocking sum and expressed gratitude to all those giving to help the grieving family.
“I would like to thank all the donors worldwide that have contributed to these wonderful kids,” she wrote. “The prayers and love and support you have sent are so very much appreciated and needed as they continue their journey through life without their mother and father.”
Austin described Irma Garcia as a “wonderful person” in the initial GoFundMe description and that the teacher “died trying to protect” her young students.
“She would literally do anything for anybody … no questions asked,” Austin wrote. “She loved her classroom kids and died trying to protect them.”
As for Joe Garcia, Austin added her belief that the grieving husband “died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life of more than 25 years was too much to bear.”
The amazing effort to help the family comes as the couple’s 15-year-old daughter, Lyliana, reportedly left a letter at a Uvalde memorial pledging to fight for her parents for the rest of her life.
“Dad, I know this was too much for you. Your heart could not take it,” the teen reportedly wrote. “I will spend the rest of my life fighting for you and mom. Your names will not be forgotten. Your daughter, Lyliana.”
Let’s continue to pray for the Garcia family and the entirety of the Uvalde community as they mourn last week’s horrific events.
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