Nightly News | September 16, 2012
>>> tonight's making a difference report is about a ray of life out of the darkness of the summer in the state of colorado . first it was those historic wildfires that left hundreds of families homeless and the shock of the theater massacre in aurora that took 12 lives, but one young woman connected to both terrible events has led the way to renewed hope. here's nbc's mike tiaibi.
>> reporter: the colorado wildfires of june and early july scorched hundreds of square miles and drove more than 40,000 people from their homes.
>> it was just so sad to see what these families were losing, and sporting equipment is a big part of that and it's a big part of kids' lives.
>> reporter: no one had to tell that to jessica , a budding sports reporter whoets whose own love of sports, especially hockey, started when she was a kid. she put an idea into motion. to help the kids displaced by the fires recover what she would have wanted most.
>> it's the little things that make the difference, and sporting equipment is often the thing that helps children heal.
>> we rescue inside the auditor wrum. multiple victims. rirchlgt or the terrible seconds of gunfire and madness in that aurora movie theater on july 20th claimed jessica among the 12 dead. then from the depths of their grieving jessica 's family and friends decided revive her dream, and they did.
>> wow. these are all brand new.
>> reporter: from all over colorado and beyond, donations of new and lightly used sports equipment made a mark into yes, sir ka's memory. professional athletes and eight pro teams joined the effort, and the precious child charity and off duty firefighters helped keep things organized, but mostly it was just people touched by dual tragedies helping other people.
>> we all cried. we all grieved when these things took place.
>> reporter: kids helping other kids.
>> we may have to get another truck.
>> reporter: in the end it was 25,000 pieces of sports equipment and outdoor gear and $30,000 in scholarship money in jessica 's name. one special donor was tom sullivan , the father of alex sullivan, another child lost in the aurora massacre.
>> this is exactly what, you know, my alex would want me to do.
>> reporter: from jessica 's mom, agratitude can ease her pain of loss.
>> we're overwhelmed and very grateful to each and every one of you for being here.
>> reporter: and a way to remember, for everyone to remember who her daughter was and what she gave and continues to give. mike taibi, nbc news,