Millions Raised For Kids Of Slain Uvalde Teacher And Husband Who Died Days Later

The fundraiser's goal was $10,000. People have donated more than $2.5 million to support the four children the Garcias left behind.

Online donors have raised nearly $2.7 million to support the children of Irma Garcia, a teacher killed in the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting, and Joe Garcia, her husband, who died of a heart attack days later.

Irma Garcia, 46, died Tuesday while attempting to shield her fourth-grade students from a gunman who opened fire in her classroom with an assault rifle, killing 19 children and another teacher.

Joe Garcia, 50, brought flowers to his wife’s memorial on Thursday morning. He collapsed and died moments after he returned home. His nephew, John Martinez, said his uncle’s death was triggered by grief.

The Garcias left behind four children: Cristian, 23; Jose, 19; Lyliana, 15; and Alysandra, 12.

A GoFundMe page set up by Irma Garcia’s cousin, Debra Austin, set an initial goal of $10,000 to support the Garcia family for various expenses after her death.

“Irma was a wife, a mother of 4, a cousin, a sister a daughter, an aunt and a wonderful person. She would literally do anything for questions asked. She loved her classroom kids and died trying to protect them,” Austin wrote.

Irma Garcia's cross stands at a memorial site for the victims killed in the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Irma Garcia's cross stands at a memorial site for the victims killed in the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
via Associated Press

Days later, Austin posted an update, saying Joe Garcia had also died following a medical emergency. “I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life of more than 25 years was too much to bear,” she wrote.

By Sunday night, the fundraiser had accumulated just under $2.7 million, as donors from around the country and world offered their support and condolences.

“Support from Chicago. The world is thinking of you during these hard times,” one donor wrote.

“I have few words but just wanted to support in a small way here from UK,” said another. “Will often think of Irma and Joe who will remain in people’s hearts, and their 4 children, and all the school children and their families. Absolutely devastating. Sending love and strength.”

The largest donation, more than $500,000, was brought over from a separate GoFundMe created by Martinez for the family. The fund also received several other large donations between $5,000 to $10,000. Tens of thousands of people made donations of under $100.

Other GoFundMe pages for families of Uvalde shooting victims have raised tens of thousands of dollars. The page for Eva Mireles, the other teacher killed by the shooter, has raised over $157,000.

“She leaves behind a daughter, husband and her beloved fur babies. Eva is truly the definition of a hero. She put her own fears aside to protect her students that day,” her sister, Maggie Mireles, wrote on the page.

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