The horrifying mass shooting at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, left at least 19 students and two teachers dead, and 17 others wounded. In the wake of this tragedy, Americans nationwide are left reeling as they grieve in spirit alongside the countless heartbroken families in the small community.
Although you may feel like there is nothing you can do to ease the massive pain being felt in that town, there are actually several concrete things you can do to help ease the suffering of these families who’ve lost so much.
Here are some ways you can help the Uvalde victims and their families:
If you live anywhere near Uvalde, you can help by donating blood — a necessity almost every time a tragedy occurs. Visit the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center’s website for a schedule of upcoming blood drives. You can choose the time and location that works best for you and can even register in advance.
Support the Uvdale Strong Fund
The Uvalde Strong Fund is currently raising money to form grants for the victims and their families. The money will be used to alleviate the financial strain on these families, as well as support the nonprofits and medical institutions that have served the Robb Elementary victims and larger Uvalde community in the wake of the killings. Grant money will also be focused on helping to rebuild and strengthen Uvalde in the future.
The fund is part of the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country, a larger regional charity that has a strong rating from Charity Navigator.
Support Crisis Response in Uvalde
The Uvalde community will unquestionably need mental health support and crisis counseling now and in the months to come. You can help to support the work of these crisis response organizations by donating to a Uvalde fund set up by San Antonio-based Family Service. This organization has a perfect grade from Charity Navigator, so you can donate with confidence that your money will help where it’s needed.
Help Pay Utilities and Rent
As you can imagine, going to work after you have just lost a child can be unthinkable. Even those Uvalde parents whose kids walked away from school that day may need to stay home to help support their kids after such a harrowing and traumatic experience. For this reason, these families may need help paying their rent and utilities during this time of grief.
You can donate to the SAMMinistries, a top-rated San Antonio-based charity that fights homelessness by helping people pay their bills and ensure that they stay housed. It should be noted that SaMMinistries hasn’t announced a fund specifically funneled toward Uvalde victims, but if you are interested in that, look into the next option on the list.
Donate Directly to Victims
There are many GoFundMe fundraisers that have been set up to help the victims of the Uvdale tragedy. While online fundraisers like these can be dubious after a high-profile tragedy, GoFundMe has been working to verify the legitimacy of dozens of them. The website has compiled the ones verified to benefit victims of the Robb Elementary shooting in a single list that’s continuing to grow. Find the full list here.
For instance, if you have been touched by the story of Eva Mireles, the fourth-grade teacher, mom and hero who gave her life trying to shield her students from the gunman’s wrath, you can donate to her family here.
You can also donate to the verified GoFundMe set up to honor Joe and Irma Garcia. Irma Garcia was a mother of four and also a fourth-grade teacher at Robb Elementary. Like Mireles, this heroic teacher sacrificed her own life trying to shield her students from bullets. Making this story worse, 48 hours later, her husband, Joe, died of a heart attack related to the strain and trauma of losing his wife in such a violent and shocking way. You can donate here to help support their kids, who’ve found themselves suddenly without parents due to this single act of terror.
Even if you can’t give, sharing links to these GoFundMe pages on your social media is also crucial to help raise awareness and funds from people who might not find them otherwise. The list includes fundraisers that will help to pay for the medical care of wounded students, as well as to help support the families who lost a loved one and help to cover funeral expenses.