A little over a week ago, everything changed. Uvalde, Texas, is a predominantly Latino community. And it hits hard to see folks hurting that look like our cousins, tios, sobrinos, hijos y más.
Austin Vida Editor & Publisher Nancy Flores (who is originally from nearby Eagle Pass) traveled to Uvalde this week to visit the memorial sites and be in solidarity with the community. We will continue to report on ways to help and share resources across our social media channels and austinvida.com. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
In the midst of the pain, the Uvalde community also gave us hope. We saw people be there for strangers between sobs. Free hugs were being offered at the town square. Uvalde Strong T-shirts and signs peppered the town. While at the town square park, we saw a woman write with chalk on the pavement the words “Rest Easy.”
Piles of flower bouquets, balloons, prayer candles, and rosaries surrounded the park’s water fountain. Even though scores of people were present, the atmosphere was strangely calm.
At the Robb Elementary school memorial site, the large cutouts of the children who died bonded visitors together. Some came from places like Houston and the Rio Grande Valley, while others had lived in Uvalde all of their lives. A child left a new toy, still in its box, at the memorial site and told her parent: this is for all the children who had died.
It was a powerful reminder of the infinite compassion of nuestros hijos and why Austin Vida is committed to its mission of amplifying, informing and celebrating our Latinidad.
Here are a few ways you can still help Uvalde:
The League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, is the largest and oldest grassroots civil rights organization. It is raising funds for the affected Uvalde families and survivors. About 90% of the students of Robb Elementary are Latino. Donation info here.
Art can be healing. That’s why Austin-based nonprofit MAS Cultura is raising funds for the Uvalde Strong Unidos 21 Murals project. Initiated by Uvalde art professor Abel Ortiz, the mural project aims to create 21 murals to honor the victims of the massacre. A roster of artists across Texas are expected to participate. Donate and find more information here.
The aftermath of the Uvalde shooting will have lifelong effects on the victims of the family including the 38 siblings of the 19 students killed. Former Austinite and past Co-Director of PODER Erika González has been in touch with Robb Elementary’s school counselor for an initiative to raise funds for the siblings of the Uvalde shooting. So far $2,000 has been raised to purchase Moon Pals, therapeutic weighted stuffed bears. These are for siblings in PK-6th grade. Additional funds will go toward purchasing age appropriate healing items for the older siblings in 7th-12th grade. Donations can be made directly via Venmo @Erika-Gonzalez-8000. Austin Vida has verified this fundraiser. Erika González is originally from Eagle Pass, Texas, and is currently an educator in East Oakland, where she’s worked with students experiencing trauma. If you have any questions, hit reply to this email.
Uvalde CISD has set up the Robb Memorial Fund, an official donation account with First State Bank to assist the families of this tragedy. Donations can be made at any of the bank branches, via check or online using Zelle to email@example.com. Details here.
♀️ Volunteer attorneys needed. San Antonio Legal Services Association is mobilizing volunteer Texas attorneys to provideservices to families impacted by the Robb Elementary shooting. Email UvaldeResponse@sa-lsa.org with your area of expertise and availability.
There are some Uvalde shooting victims still hospitalized at University Health in San Antonio. The Uvalde Victims Relief Fund has been set up by the hospital to cover any unpaid medical expenses, food, lodging and other needs identified by social workers. More information here.
Consider donating blood or hosting a blood drive wherever you live to ensure there is enough blood in the bank ahead of tragedies like in Uvalde. Visit South Texas Blood & Tissue or We are Blood in Central Texas.