While families and community members in Uvalde process their grief after the worst school shooting in Texas history, they are also dealing with medical, funeral and legal expenses. Here’s how you can help.
Resources for families
Belong, a division of SJRC Texas, a nonprofit that cares for children and families that have faced trauma, put together a list of resources for those affected by the Uvalde shooting, including financial, medical, mental health and grief support services.
On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced more resources. Any Uvalde resident can access free mental health services from state and private providers.
“We just want you to ask for them,” Abbott said at a press conference. “The way that you can ask for them — whether it be today, tomorrow, next month or next year — is this number: 888-690-0799.”
The help line will be answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he said.
Shooting victims can also access help to cover the costs of immediate needs, travel, lodging and health care through a Family Assistance Center stationed at the Uvalde County Fairplex. Abbott said updates about a possible relocation of the center would be provided. State agencies will also help victims access benefits such as workers’ compensation, child care and unemployment.
Crowdfunding platform GoFundMe set up a page with verified fundraisers put together by family members of shooting victims and nonprofit organizations.
The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District created a bank account at First State Bank of Uvalde where people can send funds to shooting victims and their families. Funds can be sent electronically through Zelle using the email [email protected] or through the mail to 200 E. Nopal St., Uvalde, Texas 78801. Make checks payable to the “Robb School Memorial Fund.”
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The city of Uvalde set up another fund to which people can mail checks payable to the “Robb School Memorial Fund” to P.O. Box 799, Uvalde, Texas 78802.
Abbott also announced that people can donate to help shooting victims through the OneStar Foundation’s website. Those donations will also be held at the First State Bank of Uvalde and contribute to the Robb School Memorial Fund.
University Health San Antonio has also set up the Uvalde Victim Relief Fund for shooting victims and their families on its website. To donate to this fund, people should select “SP-Uvalde Victims Relief Fund” under designation when making a one-time or recurring donation.
United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County launched the United with Uvalde fund to offer support for immediate, long-term and emerging needs of victims’ families and the community. You can donate and learn more here.
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The Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country, a Kerrville nonprofit that typically provides scholarships and grants to other area nonprofits, set up an emergency fund called Uvalde Strong. The foundation is going to support survivors’ families, other affected families and Uvalde nonprofits over the next few weeks and months, CEO Austin Dickson said. He said he expects the fund to be open for several months.
The foundation is working in partnership with VictimsFirst, the San Antonio Area Foundation and the National Compassion Fund to pool resources and help distribute grants. Dickson said he and other foundation leaders were meeting with community leaders and affected families in Uvalde to identify needs. People can donate through the Community Foundation’s website. Through partnerships with the retailers Kroger and Macy’s, people can also donate at Kroger stores in Texas and Macy’s stores across the country.
The League of United Latin American Citizens is also fundraising for survivors and families of Uvalde shooting victims, saying that 100% of one-time or recurring donations will go to those affected by the shooting.
The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center and University Health San Antonio asked for blood donations to help supplement survivors of the shooting. People can schedule appointments with the center here or with University Health here.
Roger Ruiz, a senior communications specialist for the center, said people need to continue to donate blood beyond this tragedy, as centers across the country have experienced a blood shortage for about two years. Blood drives were interrupted by the pandemic and donations also tend to drop during the summer, Ruiz said.
“Just because we saw 600 donors doesn’t mean that we have a seven-day supply of blood on the shelves,” Ruiz said. “You can remember on top of what we’re sending out with Uvalde, we still have to keep our orders with all our hospitals because there’s still patients in our area that still need transfusions, so that’s why it’s so important to have an adequate blood supply.”
The center is asking people who have made appointments to call the center at 210-757-9509 if they can’t make it so another donor can be scheduled. Ruiz said the center is also taking walk-ins at its San Antonio headquarters, 6211 W. Interstate Highway 10, San Antonio, TX 78201.
University Health San Antonio is always taking blood donations because blood has a limited shelf life, said Shelley Kofler, a senior public relations manager for University Health San Antonio. Ruiz and Kofler said people can also help by donating to their local blood centers. You can look up blood centers near you through the Blood Centers of America website.
Local funeral parlors are offering free funeral services to the families of those who were killed in the shooting.
The Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary said in a Facebook post that its professionals are helping law enforcement at Robb Elementary School and that families would not be charged for the services.
The Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home also said it is assisting families affected by the Uvalde shooting at no cost.
The San Antonio Legal Services Association issued a call on Facebook for volunteer attorneys to offer free legal services to victims’ families and survivors.
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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.
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