AUSTIN - Only people who have been through it can possibly understand. That's a message from an Austin man who survived the Las Vegas massacre.
When he heard about the shooting at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church his main priority became helping those affected. He knows the type of shock and pain they're going through.
Oct. 1, 2017, is a night that will stay with Kyle Voss for the rest of his life.
"We were at the gate, and then the concert just kind of shut off. And we would see people kind of like scattering," he said.
Voss walked away from the Las Vegas mass shooting physically unscathed. A gunman opened fire on a country concert, killing 58 people and wounding more than 500.
"It makes you really appreciate life," he said.
Now tragedy has struck again; this time, in his own backyard.
"The people in Sutherland Springs, they didn't expect something like this to happen, and all I'm trying to do is be an advocate for those people," he said.
KSAT connected Voss with Rod and Judy Green who have gone to the church for 15 years and run the food pantry. They introduced him to the church pastor.
"After experiencing something like this, you don't want to go back every day reliving that, so what they're going to do in the midterm is they want to raise funds to build a new church," Voss said.
Voss is now working to make sure all donations he raises funnel to the church's main account. Money in that account will also help with funeral and medical costs for victims. The account has already collected more than $95,000.
Voss is already working with several Austin-area businesses that want to help the cause. One of them is making T-shirts that say "Sutherland Strong" with the No. 26 inside the state of Texas.
"We can only control so much, but every individual can play a part and I'm just trying to play my part," Voss said.
Voss knows firsthand the scars of tragedy will never fully heal, but love and help from others can help that pain subside.
If you would like to donate straight to the church's GoFundMe, click here.
If you'd like to visit the church's website, click here.
If you'd like to purchase a Sutherland Strong shirt, click here.
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