How to Help Victims of the Uvalde, Texas School Shooting

OOn Tuesday, at least 19 children were killed and 2 adults were injured in an attack on an elementary school in Uvalde Texas.

The community of Uvalde—a small, predominantly Hispanic city nestled between San Antonio and the U.S.-Mexico border—is mourning. The nation is also in mourning as the national debate on gun control and the painful Sandy Hook memories reverberate.

Continue reading: The Elementary School Shooting at Uvalde in Texas: What we Know so Far

In the midst of political turmoil, hospitals, attorneys, and community groups are joining forces to support those affected by organizing blood drives and providing vital services. Two local funeral homes—Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home and Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary Uvalde—announced on social media that they will assist victims’ families with funerals for free. The San Antonio Food Bank said it would be providing meals to teachers and counselors at the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center in Uvalde; the San Antonio Legal Services Association posted on social media that they are recruiting local attorneys to provide pro bono legal services to impacted families; and Hill Country MHDD, which provides mental health services for 19 counties across Central Texas, said in a Facebook post that “help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

Individuals from all over the globe and the United States can also offer their support. Here’s how you can help.

Donate blood in these locations

Texas agencies are working together to provide high-quality blood donations for children and adults being admitted to hospital following the shooting.

South Texas Blood & Tissue is hosting an emergency blood drive Wednesday at Herby Ham Activity Center in Uvalde from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Tuesday afternoon, it said all appointments in donor rooms had been booked through Saturday but encouraged individuals to sign up for slots through next week. Texas residents can register to donate blood by clicking here. You may also find blood drives in or near San Antonio via this link.

South Texas Blood & Tissue said Tuesday in an update on its website that it had already sent 25 units of blood to Uvalde via helicopter. “This tragedy highlights the importance of always having blood available on the shelf and before it’s needed,” it added. The organization reported that at least 600 people donated blood to their cause Wednesday.

University Health System is a San Antonio teaching hospital that announced Tuesday it received a donation four patientsIt also encouraged people to donate blood. It thanked all those who donated blood in an update Wednesday afternoon. “Blood Donor Services has been flooded with calls and online appointments,” it tweeted.

Fundraisers to support victims and their families

It’s important for donors to carefully vet where they send their money, as scammers have previously exploited tragedies such as Sandy Hook to take funds away from the intended cause.

University Health System stated that anyone still inclined to donate could do so to the Uvalde Victims Relief Fund it established. The funds would be “used to support the families while their loved ones are at University Hospital, to cover unpaid medical expenses, and other needs identified by our social workers,” it said.

GoFundMe created a portal that allows individuals to give to approved fundraisers for the Uvalde shooting.

The fundraiser will be for Irma Garcia’s family, who lost her fourth-grade teacher at Robb Elementary. It stated that the money would go towards funeral costs and family expenses.

This includes a fundraiser to support the Lopez family (10-year old Xavier). “Any bit helps and if you can’t help at this time, please lift him and all the parents coping [with] this tragedy and loss, up in prayers tonight,” said a post describing the fundraiser.

GoFundMe is also hosting a fundraiser led by VictimsFirst, a network of families of those killed and injured from over two decades of mass shootings, who say they are raising funds to ensure that “100% of what is collected goes DIRECTLY to the victim base.”

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“We do this because our own families have been re-victimized in the past by non-profits that collect funds for themselves after a mass shooting saying they will ‘support’ the families, which is usually the legal verbiage used when donations do not go directly to victims/survivors themselves,” they said in the description.

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