The Uvalde Strong Fund

Look for the helpers. Be a helper.

Hello friends. I'm not one for long emotional posts, personal stories and anecdotes, or things of the like. I don't think I could possibly muster any words that would express my horror, grief, and despair after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School this week. Words from Tom Bridge and Albert Burneko at Defector are much better crafted and heartening than anything I could muster, even as a mother of a toddler attending school in Texas, as a person with empathy, as someone who believes the sanctity of life means more than ill conceived notions of defending property.

But I digress.

In times like these I think back to the timeless words of Fred Rogers, who alongside Carl Sagan, provides a guiding light for how I perceive the world (universe) around me and the events therein. And what I can do.

Video: Fred Rogers: Look for the helpers (YouTube)

You know my mother used to say a long time ago whenever there would be any really… catastrophe that was on in the movies or on the air she would say "always look for the helpers, there will always be helpers." You know even just on the sidelines. That's why I think that if news programs could make a conscious effort of showing rescue teams of showing medical people… anybody who is coming into a place where there's a tragedy to be to be sure that they include that because if you look for the helpers you'll know that there's hope.

One of the ways I try to cope with the despair in the wake of tragedy is to look for the helpers, and find ways to help the helpers. One way for those of us outside of the Uvalde community to help is to find ways to contribute to mutual aid and community funds working locally within the impacted areas to provide relief and support.

The Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country is a 501(c)(3) public charitable organization supporting the area, including Uvalde. The organization has set up the Uvalde Strong Fund, a relief fund for victims, their families, and others affected by the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. If you're able, please consider donating to the project to get funds directly into the community. 

If you've found other GoFundMe campaigns and things of that nature claiming support for the community after the shooting please verify the groups involved, and that they have feet on the ground in the area. If not, try to find out if the parties involved are well-established charitable organizations doing work in the wake of gun violence in America.

If your employer, school, or other related organizations do donation matching please take the time to request matching. Tools like Benevity, Deed, and other charitable platforms often facilitate donation matching so make sure to check there to maximize your impact.

If financial assistance isn't something you can commit to, there are two other very important things you can do to help. 

Donate blood. For those of you in the Central Texas area consider donating blood through We Are Blood. Many mobile blood donation vans are popping up around the area to help get blood and additional resources to Uvalde to support victims. Outside of the Central Texas area you can find local organizations that run blood banks and donation drives and ask if they can support Uvalde victims.

Call your Senators. HR8 was passed by the House of Representatives in 2019 but has yet to be voted on in the Senate. Due to the filibuster Republican Senators have refused to vote on HR8, which is a broadly popular bipartisan background check reform bill. Call 202-224-3121 and urge your Senators to support common-sense gun laws.

If you know of other organizations on the ground in Uvalde and at the Capitol working to support victims and support common-sense gun legislation please share in the comments below.

Look for the helpers. Be a helper. ❤️

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