Shooting victim's family to start charitable foundation
Jessica Ghawi's dream to help others lives on
Sandy Phillips, the mother of Jessica Ghawi, left the room as others in her house watched James Holmes, the alleged killer in the Colorado theater massacre, make his first court appearance Monday morning.
"I wish in a perfect world that we would take his picture down and his name down and I've said to several people in the media that it's an abomination to me that his picture and the pictures of the victims are on at the same time," said Phillips.
Instead, she spent much of the day focused on finishing a dream her daughter started to help victims of the Colorado wildfires by creating a foundation in her name.
The charity, called "Little Things," will gather sporting goods for the families who lost everything.
"The necessities are taken care of immediately but it's the little things, like being able to throw a ball with your dad, or go out and skate or ride your bicycle," said Phillips. "Those are the things that get put off and can bring a sense of normal activity back when you're in a crisis like that."
The foundation will also fund a scholarship for aspiring female journalists like Jessica. She had moved to Colorado to continue pursuing her dream of a career in sports journalism.
"It's the only reason I'm still breathing," said Philips, fighting back tears. "That's her legacy and I have to keep that alive."
Phillips said the past few days have been surreal.
She spoke with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who pledged the team's full support in helping the new charity, and her son, Jordan Ghawi, met with President Obama in Colorado on Sunday.
Surreal moments that Jessica would have loved.
"We've made jokes that I got to talk with Diane Sawyer, she didn't. Jordan got to meet the President and she didn't," said her mom. "She would've been upset by that, but then, the other side of that was she was trending No. 1 worldwide and she would've been like, 'People are reading my blog!' That would have given her a lot of pride."
The family has set up two funds, both called the Jessica Redfield Ghawi Memorial Fund.
One is with Generations Federal Credit Union and the other with Capital One. The family will transfer all donations from those funds to the foundation once it is established.
More information is available here.
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