Family members are grieving after eight people were killed and one seriously wounded in the shootings at three Atlanta area spas last Tuesday, but some are also struggling to suddenly organize funeral expenses while others are being forced to rebuild entirely after losing a parent.
Families of seven of those killed and one survivor have organized GoFundMe pages to allow the public to donate. NBC News verified the authenticity of these campaigns with the organizers and GoFundMe.
A fund for Suncha Kim, 69, killed in the Tuesday attacks, was organized on behalf of her granddaughter, Regina Song, and her family. In a post written for the GoFundMe page, Song described her grandmother as “an angel.”
“As an immigrant, all my grandmother ever wanted in life was to grow old with my grandfather, and watch her children and grandchildren live the life she never got to live,” she wrote.
According to the page, Kim immigrated to the United States from Seoul to give her family a better life. She was a “fighter,” Song wrote, and would call her granddaughter on the phone once a week to tell her, “Stay strong in life ... when you’re happy, I’m happy.”
The funds will be used by the family to pay for Kim’s funeral and memorial expenses.
Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, 49, was the only one from her family to move to the U.S. from Nanning, China, according to a GoFundMe page created by a family member to support her daughter, Jami Webb. Throughout her life, she worked to take care of her child and send money back home to support her mother and her sister in China.
“My mom taught me the power of smiles and laughter,” Webb said as part of the fundraiser. “People noticed how happy she was. Please spend more time with your loved ones, like it could be your last day with them.”
Webb will use the money to support herself through this time and to organize a trip to China with her mother’s remains for a funeral service.
Hyun Jung Grant, 51, a single mom of two, was one of those killed at Gold Spa in Atlanta. She was the sole support system for their family, and her son, Randy Park, 23, organized a GoFundMe to take care of food, rent and bills for himself and his brother.
In an interview with NBC Asian America, Park remembered his mother.
“She was a big kid,” he said. “She essentially behaved like a teenager.”
Park said his mom would often stay overnight at the spa instead of making the 30-mile drive back home. “She spent her whole life just existing for my brother and I,” he said.
His highly-trafficked GoFundMe page has amassed more than $2.7 million since he posted it three days ago. He updated the page with a message to the donors over the weekend.
“I don't know how any word I write here will ever convey how grateful and blessed I am to receive this much support,” he wrote. “My mother can rest easy knowing I have the support of the world with me.”
Yong Yue, 63, made a weekly ritual of going to the grocery store and making a traditional Korean dinner. Accompanying her on those trips is something that her son, Rob Peterson, will miss the most after Yue was killed during the Atlanta attacks.
“Mom was an amazing woman who loved to introduce our family and friends to her home-cooked Korean food and Korean karaoke,” Peterson wrote on a GoFundMe page organized to cover the family’s immediate expenses following Yue’s death.
The donations will be used to cover travel expenses for the memorial service, organizing Yue’s affairs and covering the funeral costs.
“Wow, we are truly overwhelmed with the amount of support and comfort we have received from the various community members, family and friends,” Peterson wrote in an update to the page Sunday. “My mom would be so proud that my brother and I are not only getting along but surrounded by good spirits and uplifting her legacy.”
Paul Andres Michels, 54, who was killed while at one of the spas Tuesday, was a U.S. Army veteran and married for 30 years, according to a GoFundMe organized by the co-worker of his wife, Bonnie Michels.
Michels was a business owner who moved to Atlanta from Detroit, where he grew up.
"My brother is a very hardworking, loving husband, a good brother," John Michels, his brother, told TODAY. "A man who would do anything for someone if they needed it."
According to the GoFundMe page, the donations will be used to cover funeral expenses.
A fundraiser for shooting victim Soon Chung Park, 74, was posted yesterday by her husband, Gwangho Lee, to cover rent and living expenses in the wake of her death.
“I am currently unable to work due to the trauma I have experienced from this attack and from the death of my wife,” Lee wrote on the GoFundMe page.
Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, was newly married with two children, including a 9-month-old, when she was killed during the Cherokee County attacks. Friends told an Atlanta NBC affiliate that she was a wonderful mother and friend.
A GoFundMe organized for her family is asking for donations to cover funeral expenses and support her young children and her husband during this time.
Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, is the lone survivor of last week’s Cherokee County shootings. He sustained a gunshot to the forehead and is in intensive care, according to a GoFundMe page set up by his wife, Flora Gonzalez Gomez.
The donations will be used to cover the costs of his surgeries and medical care.
“Please pray for my family" and the families that were affected by the shooting, Gomez wrote. “Anything will greatly help our family.”