SAN ANTONIO – A couple from San Antonio, who lost their daughter in a mass shooting nearly a decade ago, know the pain facing Uwalde’s families after the school shooting last week at Rob Elementary School, where 19 students and two teachers lost their lives.
Sandy and Lonnie Phillips lost their daughter Jessica Gaui in a mass shooting at the Aurora Cinema in Colorado in 2012. Since then, they have set themselves the mission of helping other families who are losing loved ones in mass shootings.
Gaui was a 24-year-old ambitious sports reporter when she was killed in 2012.
Sandy Phillips remembers the last time she spoke to her daughter, who lived in Colorado, when she began her journalistic career.
She said, “Go back to bed, Mom.” To rest. I need my mother. And I said, “I need my little girl,” Phillips said. “This was our last text. And about 35, 40 minutes later, I got a call from inside the theater from the young man I was with. ”
Lonnie Phillips heard his wife’s screams from that phone call.
“I knew then that my life would never be the same and I no longer had a daughter,” Lonnie said.
The couple chose to turn the pain of losing Jessica into a goal.
They live on the road in RV, traveling from one mass shooting to another with a mission to comfort and guide families through a broken heart. They offer families resources through their non-profit organization Survivors Empowered.
The Philip family was in Buffalo, New York, when they heard about the Uwalde tragedy.
Their work with Survivors Empowered took them to Buffalo after 10 people were killed and three others were injured in a supermarket shooting two weeks ago.
The couple now spends a week in Uwalde handing out their Survivor’s Manuals and doing what they can to help the victims’ families.
Sandy Phillips said families will learn to survive and live with their grief.
“You can’t get over it. It transforms. It’s changing, but you never get over it, “Sandy said.
Their Survivors Toolkit through Survivors Empowered offers advice and information on topics such as emotional trauma and how to raise money or deal with potential lawsuits.
The toolkit is available for free download by clicking here.
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The couple in San Antonio are helping the families of mass victims of the shooting after their daughter was killed in a shooting at the Colorado Theater
Source link The couple in San Antonio are helping the families of mass victims of the shooting after their daughter was killed in a shooting at the Colorado Theater