Financial assistance

Emergency fund created to help victims of Uvalde school shooting

Two emergency funds were created on Wednesday in response to the Uvalde school shooting. All contributions to the fund will help victims and directly affected families financially, while another fund will help non-profit organizations working with them to provide long-term assistance.

“It will be difficult for parents to go to work while experiencing this tragedy. It will be difficult for them to sleep. Their grief will stay with them long after the news cameras are gone,” Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said in announcing the creation of the fund.

Donations will be managed by the San Antonio Area Foundation, an organization that administers funds that serve community needs through grants, programs and scholarships.

The Uvalde Strong Survivors Fund will directly provide long-term financial assistance to families and survivors, while the second fund, the Uvalde Strong Fund, will support nonprofit organizations in the area that provide assistance, including counseling services. mental health and community counseling.

Donors are encouraged to donate to funds online to ensure that all funds go directly to the people concerned. Make a donation, Click here.

At a press conference at the Children’s Bereavement Center in San Antonio, Gonzales said the families will need medical, financial and mental health support.

“Many victims have been rushed to our trauma centers in San Antonio and we will be reaching out to them as well to provide them with any support they need during their stay, but I know that will not be enough,” he said. -he declares.

The United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County also created a fund Wednesday to support immediate and long-term mental health services for affected students, teachers and families in Uvalde.

“We will make these funds available to nonprofit organizations with experience and expertise in providing direct mental health services to trauma-affected communities,” United Way wrote in a statement.

LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens, has also created a funds for the survivors of Uvalde. In a statement, the organization said 100% of funds received will go directly to families. The announcement of the funds comes as the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office has bodies received victims of the shooting.

Several GoFundMe funds were also created to support victims, but the platform is known to charge fees. The first state bank of Uvalde also opened a donation account for families at Robb Elementary.

Counselors at the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas are no strangers to working with victims of mass shootings. In 2017, the center worked with young victims of Sutherland Springs shooting that happened in a church.

Plans for how the Children’s Bereavement Center will help families in Uvalde are still being developed. In response to the mass shooting in 2017, a center was established in Floresville and counselors from the center were present in the community for support for three years.

“We don’t know what it looks like,” said Marian Sokol, the center’s executive director. “If there is a summer school in Uvalde, maybe we will be there.”

Marian Sokol, executive director of the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, speaks at a press conference Wednesday to share two new funds set up through the San Antonio Area Foundation that will benefit the Uvalde community in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday. Credit: Bria Woods/San Antonio Report

Opportunities to establish a similar space at Uvalde are being offered by landlords, but mental health professionals are still learning the extent of the counseling needs, according to Kristina Hernandez, director of development at the center.

Ashley Jesse, grief education and clinical training program manager, said she is still working with victims of the Sutherland Springs shooting.

For now, she said the children of Uvalde need space to process what happened, attend funerals and ask their parents questions. If parents notice changes in mood, behavior, sleep or eating, Jesse will begin working with parents to help children cope with post-traumatic symptoms.

At the San Antonio Center, several play therapy and expressive art rooms are available for children who need them. There are also 17 full-time children’s bereavement therapists, four full-time contract counselors and at least 10 interns.

Since Wednesday, the bodies of the students who lost their lives in the mass shooting have been slowly being identified as their families take to social media to express their grief. A teacher who was killed was a mother of four children.

“Every child that was there, it’s not just grief, it’s trauma,” Sokol said. “Many children, after an episode like this, have to overcome the trauma. The physical and emotional reactions to sounds and those horrible experiences they had with sirens and helicopters. … Lives change overnight, and that’s what happened.