A fatal mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas yesterday shook the world. Two adults and 19 children were killed at Robb Elementary School, in the second-deadliest school shooting in US history. It is difficult to express the magnitude of the tragedy.

While many Americans are not directly impacted by the events, we are all heartbroken at the loss of life and loved ones. And naturally people are drawn to help in whatever way they can. There are several ways to help the victims’ families as well as emergency responders, via NPR. Read on for more details about how you can help.

Fundraisers for families

In the wake of the shooting, GoFundMe opened a verified fundraising hub to support victims and families. That hub includes a fundraiser from VictimsFirst, which was organized by survivors and families from previous mass shootings. The group says it started the fund because it wanted to assure all funds go directly to the victims’ families, after members say they’ve witnessed exploitation in the past.

Two other verified fundraisers have been organized–one from Austin’s Los Verdes Supporter Group, and another from the family of Xavier Lopez.

Donate blood

If you’re local to the Uvalde area, emergency services are seeking blood donations. The University Health System of San Antonio is requesting blood donations at hospitals and other donation centers, to “ensure we have supplies immediately available for victims of this tragic shooting.”

The South Texas Blood & Tissue center, which helped contribute blood in the immediate aftermath, is holding an emergency blood drive that quickly filled with volunteers. It has added slots to its emergency blood drive as well, and is encouraging people to continue making appointments into next week.

Even if you are not local to Texas, though, you can donate blood through your local donation center or book an appointment with the American Red Cross. It’s a way to contribute to your community that’s free and just takes about an hour of your time, and it helps keep blood on reserve for future emergencies. As the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center noted, “This tragedy highlights the importance of always having blood available on the shelf and before it’s needed.”

Volunteer legal services

If you’re both local to the San Antonio area and have a law degree, the San Antonio Legal Services Association is seeking volunteers. The group said in a Facebook post that it is seeking volunteers to donate pro bono assistance to victims and families “as called upon to do so by community partners and civil leaders over the coming weeks.” Qualified attorneys can email the group with qualifications and area of practice.

(Image credit: Getty Images/P A Thompson)





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