Millions of dollars have been raised for the families of the 19 students and two teachers killed in a shooting rampage at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
GoFundMe campaigns dedicated to supporting the bereaved describe the loss of a “beautiful, funny, smart, and amazing” 10-year-old child, Makenna Lee Elrod; an honor-roll student and “hero” named Amerie Jo Garza, also 10; and Jailah Nicole Silguero, a “lovely little” 11-year-old girl, among others.
More than $2 million had been raised as of May 27 for the four orphaned children of Irma Garcia, a fourth-grade teacher who was gunned down in the massacre, and Joe Garcia, who died of a heart attack two days after his wife’s death.
“I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart,” the GoFundMe campaign for the Garcias reads, “and losing the love of his life of more than 25 years was too much to bear.”
The mass shooting at Robb Elementary School is now America’s most deadly so far this year, and the worst school shooting since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012. Certain politicians, activists, and surviving family members have since called for stricter gun control measures.
President Joe Biden, who plans to travel to Uvalde on Sunday, grew emotional in an evening address after the shooting and asked people to consider why mass shootings are such a frequent American occurrence, adding, “Where in God’s name is our backbone?” The gunman in the Uvalde shooting was an 18-year-old who purchased the weapon used in the slayings almost immediately after his birthday this month, according to the Washington Post.
“I’m furious that these shootings continue. These children are innocent. Rifles should not be easily available to all,” Lydia Martinez Delgado, the aunt of Eva Mireles, a fourth-grade teacher who was killed in Tuesday’s shooting, told ABC News. “This is my hometown, a small community of less than 20,000. I never imagined this would happen to especially to loved ones.”
If you’re looking to take action or help, here are some options
Donate to a fundraiser for Victims First, which describes itself as a “network of families of the deceased and survivors from over two decades of previous mass shootings.” The organization had raised nearly $4 million for its GoFundMe campaign as of Friday morning, stating: “100% of what is collected goes DIRECTLY to the victim base so the victims’ families and those wounded/injured are protected from fraud and exploitation.” Alternatively, you can look for other verified GoFundMe fundraisers related to the shootings here.
Consider donating blood. South Texas Blood and Tissue already held an emergency blood drive Wednesday at the Herby Ham Activity Center in Uvalde, though you can find other donor rooms and blood drives on the South Texas Blood and Tissue website. University Health in San Antonio also asked people to donate blood.
If you’re an attorney who’s licensed in Texas, contact the San Antonio Legal Services Association to help victims’ family members meet their legal needs pro bono.
The city of Uvalde is accepting donations for families’ medical expenses, if you’re able to mail a check to: City of Uvalde, P.O. Box 799, Uvalde, Texas 78802.