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More than $2.7 million has been raised for the children of a Uvalde teacher

A memorial for Irma Garcia, a fourth-grade teacher killed in last week's school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Her husband, Joe, died of a heart attack two days later.
Jae C. Hong
A memorial for Irma Garcia, a fourth-grade teacher killed in last week's school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Her husband, Joe, died of a heart attack two days later.

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A fundraiser for the family of Irma and Joe Garcia – a teacher killed in the Uvalde school shooting, and her husband who died of a heart attack two days later – has raised more than $2.7 million.

Irma, a fourth-grade teacher who'd worked at the school for more than 20 years, was killed in her classroom in the shooting last Tuesday, along with another teacher and 19 students at Robb Elementary School.

Her husband of 24 years died of a heart attack on Thursday, a family member said. Together, the couple had four children: Cristian, Jose, Lyliana and Alysandra.

"She loved her classroom kids and died trying to protect them," wrote Debra Austin, Irma's cousin, on the GoFundMe page. "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."

The fundraiser for the Garcia family has received nearly 50,000 donations.

Millions have been donated to Uvalde fundraisers verified by GoFundMe for individuals and families affected by the shooting.

"Our family is devastated. This heart wrenching time has changed us forever," wrote Vinnie Salazar, the father of Layla, an 11-year-old budding track athlete who loved to run, as her family told CNN.

"José was the brightest little boy so loving and so joyful," wrote Stephanie Bocanegra, a family friend helping raise money for the parents of José Flores.

Nine-year-old Kendall Olivarez was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the shoulder, her aunt wrote in a fundraiser seeking help with medical bills.

The father of Samuel Salinas, an injured student who told ABC News he played dead, wrote that "our goal is to help Samuel get through this tragic time as healthy as possible."

A wider-reaching Robb Elementary memorial fund has been organized by First State Bank of Uvalde. The fund is designed to cover immediate financial needs of those affected by the shooting, the Texas governor's office says, including "healthcare expenses, flights and travel for families and loved ones." More information about how to donate can be found here.

And an anonymous donor gave $175,000 to cover funeral costs for the victims, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Becky Sullivan has reported and produced for NPR since 2011 with a focus on hard news and breaking stories. She has been on the ground to cover natural disasters, disease outbreaks, elections and protests, delivering stories to both broadcast and digital platforms.

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