Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning -- shown here with team executive… (David Zalubowski / Associated…)
The shooting at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater has left many Americans wondering how they can help. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning did his part by picking up the phone.
Manning called shooting victims at the Medical Center of Aurora on Sunday and did what he could to cheer them up and wish them well.
"It was very thoughtful; it was his idea," Linda Kanamine, spokeswoman for HealthOne, the parent company of the hospital, told the Los Angeles Times.
PHOTOS: 'Dark Knight Rises' shooting
Kanamine said HealthOne has a close working relationship with the Denver Broncos, and Manning and other players wanted to be of assistance. "They live here, they work here, they have friends here," she said. Like everyone else in Colorado, they wanted to know how they could help, she said.
Early Sunday evening, several other Broncos were expected to show up at the hospital, she said.
As for Manning, he called Kanamine's personal cellphone, which she then carried to four patients. Weise said she did not have details about the calls. "They were private calls. I was not privy to them," she said. But afterward, she said, "all of the patients were very excited."
Among the unanswered questions: After Manning asked about the victims' injuries, did they ask about his? Manning signed with the Broncos this year after missing the 2011 season with the Indianapolis Colts because of injury.
Some lightness might have been a welcome reprieve after the tragedy that unfolded Friday night when a gunman opened fire at a showing of "The Dark Knight Rises."
Manning also talked to a quick-thinking and fast-acting young woman who helped her injured friend -- a 16-year-old -- out of the theater and then drove her to a hospital, Kanamine said.
In a related development, some have used Twitter to urge Christian Bale -- star of the new Batman movie -- to travel to Aurora to visit the youngest victims of the attack. According to the #BaleAuroraOut campaign, a visit from the actor who plays Batman would remind young victims that "heroes can be real too, not just bad guys."
For his part, Bale released a statement saying that his "heart goes out to" the victims, but he made no promises about a visit. A publicist for Bale said the actor was still trying to determine the most appropriate response.
As for how others can help, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is urging donations through GivingFirst.org. There, donors can choose from a variety of agencies assisting victims.
By Saturday morning, a day after the shooting, the governor had already raised $200,000 for the effort, the Denver Post reported.