AURORA, Colo. — For more than two decades, Brandon Kellogg has tried to process the trauma caused by gun violence he experienced as a teenager.
In 1999, Kellogg was a freshman at Columbine High School when 12 of his schoolmates and a teacher were shot and killed. Though he survived the shooting, the healing process is ongoing. Part of that healing has been Kellogg’s work with the 7/20 Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit established after another mass shooting that rocked Colorado and the country as a whole: the Aurora theater shooting in 2012.
Nine years after the Aurora tragedy, Rocky Mountain PBS spoke with Heather Dearman, the 7/20 Memorial Foundation’s CEO. Dearman’s cousin, Ashley Moser, was wounded in the shooting, and Moser’s daughter was killed.
[Related: Nine years after Aurora theater shooting, community members share messages of love and healing]
Dearman’s nonprofit established the 7/20 Memorial, located on East Alameda Parkway adjacent to the Aurora Municipal Center. When we spoke with her in July, she highlighted the memorial’s newest addition: a paper crane little lending library.
“I come in here feeling really accomplished that we’re paying the love forward that we were meant to pay forward,” she told us.
Dearman worked with Kellogg to build the little library. It houses not only free books for people to take, but also paper cranes that people can fold and leave messages on. In July, the library wasn’t a permanent part of the memorial. That changed this month.