How to help those affected by the Texas school shooting

·4 min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The community of Uvalde, Texas, is reeling in the aftermath of the second-deadliest mass school shooting in the country, after an 18-year gunman murdered at least 19 children and two adults at a Texas elementary school.

The gunman, who has been named as Salvador Ramos, was reportedly shot and killed by an officer at the scene, while 10 children and two teachers who were killed during the attack have been identified.

In the hours since the tragedy, organisations and communites within Texas and outside of the state have come together to support the community and victims.

From blood donations to GoFundMe pages for the families of those killed in the shooting, these are some of the ways to help those who have been impacted by the Uvalde school shooting.

Support and donate to fundraisers

Verified fundraisers have been set up online for victims of the shooting, including GoFundMe pages. One fundraiser is being managed by VictimsFirst, a “network of surviving victims of mass casualty crime and trusted supporters,” according to the organisation’s official website.

The organisation said on the fundraising page that 100 per cent of the funds collected will go “DIRECTLY to the victim base so the victims’ families and those wounded/injured are protected from fraud and exploitation”.

As of Wednesday, VictimsFirst’s fundraiser has raised $1,411,090 of its $2m goal.

The Los Verdes Supporter Group, based in Austin, Texas, is also raising funds for those affected by the shooting through GoFundMe.

“In these challenging times, we will mourn with those affected, and as a group, we will also take action and lend support to all those involved,” the organisation wrote on its page.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up for the family of Xavier Lopez, one of the children killed during the shooting, with the funds going towards Lopez’s funeral expenses. As of Wednesday, the GoFundMe has raised $99,000, far surpassing its $17,000 goal.

Blood donations

University Health hospital, based in San Antonio, Texas, has encouraged members of its community to donate blood to different hospitals.

“If you are looking for ways to help, please consider donating blood,” the hospital tweeted. “Your donation can help ensure we have supplies immediately available for the victims of this tragic shooting.”

They also offered a link for scheduling a blood donation at the hospital and available times.

On Tuesday afternoon, the South Texas Blood and Tissue issued a statement revealing that they had received so many donations that they were able to send 25 units of blood to Uvalde on the day of the school shooting.

The organisation held an emergency blood drive on Wednesday at Herby Ham Activity Centre from 9am to 2pm. Last night, South Texas Blood and Tissue tweeted that all appointments up to Saturday had been booked.

However, they said that they added more appointments to their Memorial Day blood drive, which will take place on Friday May 27, and will continue adding more throughout the week. To find available slots, the organisation urged people to check DonateBloodToday.com.

Offer pro bono legal support to the community

The San Antonio Legal Service Association (SALSA) shared in a Facebook post that they were calling for attorney volunteers to “assist Uvalde shooting victims and families with unmet legal needs”.

“SALSA will respond with pro bono assistance as called upon to do so by community partners and civil leaders over the coming weeks,” the post reads.

Licensed attorneys in Texas are encouraged to contact SALSA with their availability throughout June and their areas of practice.

Resources for parents and teachers

Numerous organisations have compiled resources for adults looking to support children after a tragedy. The non-profit Girls Inc has created a list of ways to reassure young people after violence occurs and how to discuss it.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre’s Learning for Justice project also has a letter designed to help educators who are emotionally struggling after a mass shooting. After beginning the message: “Dear Teacher,” the group writes: “I know you’re scared. I know you are watching your phone for news, thinking, This could be my school.”

Along with addressing the fear that teachers feel throughout and after a mass shooting, the group concludes the letter with words of encouragement.

“Keep showing up and teaching and inspiring and giving your students all that they deserve,” they wrote. “In the face of the unknown, keep going until our future doesn’t hold this fear anymore.”

You can find more information about speaking with children after a school shooting here.