The Community Food Bank of Tucson, Ariz., one of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's (D-Ariz.) favorite charities, received more than $18,000 in donations during a span of about seven hours after the congresswoman's husband mentioned it in a statement.
Bill Carnegie, the CEO of the Community Food Bank, said the charity normally doesn't even receive donations from the local Tucson area, but since the Saturday shootings, donations have poured in from across the U.S. and Europe.
"They started at 8 a.m. this morning, and just keep pouring in from everywhere," he told HuffPost. "Most donations are around $50, so you can imagine the number of phone calls and activity on our website that have been going on to generate $18,000."
Carnegie said Rep. Giffords has been an active volunteer and supporter of the community food bank since she was a child, and that support has continued throughout her time in Congress.
"Her office does annual food drives for us, and she's helped us get some federal funding for a solar covered parking project," he said. "She and her staffers came over here on December 18 and spent about two hours here thanking our staff and our volunteers for everything they were doing to help fight hunger. She's a really good friend, a longtime supporter, and we're just devastated."
Gabe Zimmerman, a congressional aide who was killed in Saturday's shootings, was also very active at the charity, Carnegie said.
The Community Food Bank plans to put all donations related to the tragedy into a restricted account and let them accrue until Rep. Giffords and her husband can say how they would like the funds to be used.
"This is significant," he said. "We've never seen any kind of nationwide giving like this. This outpouring shows how much the Congresswoman was appreciated, not just here in Arizona, but across the US."
For those interested in donating to the Community Food Bank, their address and phone number is below:
3003 S. Country Club Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85713
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