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Texas Shooting: Support Flows to Uvalde in the Form of Money, Blood, Food and Comfort Dogs

JThey came to Uvalde from all over Texas and beyond, offering everything from blood to food to comfort. And a simple message: you are not alone.

While the town of Hill Country was reeling from Tuesday’s horrific school shooting – when a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School – there was still no answer as to why 18-year-old Salvador Ramos attacked the school or how, exactly, the tragic events unfolded.

A news conference on Thursday raised even more questions as authorities contradicted previous reports and said the investigation would take time.

Most of the families of the victims wept quietly, but supporters continued to come to Uvalde to help in any way they could.

On Thursday, a white SUV, parked near the makeshift memorial in the town square, had written on the rear windscreen that they had traveled from Edinburgh, Texas – a four-and-a-half-hour drive – to show their victim and community support.

People were still queuing to donate blood afterwards, with more blood drives scheduled for the coming days and appointments filling up quickly.

A law enforcement officer lays flowers brought by residents – who were not allowed past a certain point as officials prepared for a press conference on Thursday – at the memorial outside Robb elementary school in Uvalde

(Sheila Flynn)

In addition to the 19 dead, authorities said at least 17 other people were injured in Tuesday’s attack, although the condition of most of the victims is unknown.

Officials said at Thursday’s press conference they weren’t even sure how many people had escaped from the school amid the chaos.

In small ways, however, the strangers were trying to ease this chaos with simple gestures.

Linda Garcia, owner of Bear County Bar B Que in San Antonio, loaded up with supplies and headed an hour and a half west to feed Uvalde following the shooting.

(Sheila Flynn)

Linda Garcia, owner of Bear County Bar B Que in San Antonio, stood outside the Uvalde County Fairplex on Wednesday night with a sign advertising free meals as locals prayed inside and Gov. Greg Abbott – who has blamed the shooting and similar incidents on mental illness. – lowered his head next to them.

She had wanted to drive an hour and a half west to Uvalde on the day of the shooting, she said, but had to gather supplies.

“You see it on the news, and it’s happening in other states, far from your neighborhood,” Ms. Garcia said. The Independent. “And it’s in our garden. We are from San Antonio and travel through Uvalde all the time.

“And you feel you want to do something; you just don’t know how to reach families, you don’t know how you can help. But if we can help a few families or first responders or press personnel just by feeding them, you know, we just want to do what we can.

The Texas Elementary School Shooting Victims Fund, a GoFundMe organized by VictimsFirst — “a network of families of deceased persons and survivors of more than two decades of previous mass shootings” — had raised nearly $3.4 million,

(Family Document/PA)

Inside the Fairplex, Bonnie Fear, of Fort Collins, Colorado – an hour north of Denver – had flown to San Antonio the day after the shooting.

She is the K-9 Crisis Response Coordinator for Lutheran Church Charities, and around her were golden retrievers from Texas and Oklahoma along with other LCC representatives.

More dogs were due to arrive Thursday from Colorado, she said The Independentas she stood next to a loyal retriever named Joy – a “friend who brings a calming influence and allows people to open their hearts,” says the dog’s own business card.

Joy and the other dogs, Ms Fear said, brought “calm” to such a harrowing incident.

“It was a relief; some people cried, others just [said] “Thank you for being there, that’s what I needed,” she said.

Bonnie Fear, of Colorado, is the K-9 Crisis Response Coordinator for Lutheran Church Charities; she poses with Joy, one of many golden retrievers brought in to comfort the Uvalde community

(Sheila Flynn)

She didn’t know if the people petting the animals were families of victims, but that was beside the point.

“We don’t ask,” she said. “We are right here; we ask no questions.:

The Trinity Lutheran Church in Uvalde, she said, had invited LCC to come with the dogs on the day of the shooting – an effort to appease the traumatized town.

“You don’t really see it right now, but you can feel it in the air,” she said of the city’s collective emotion. “We’ve been to a lot of them, unfortunately – and so we’re equipped to just be there, to be with them in that moment.

“If they cry, we can cry with them.”

In addition to the physical presence of people offering support, donations were also pouring in to help the city and the families of the victims.

As of Thursday evening, the Texas Elementary School Shooting Victims Fund, a GoFundMe organized by VictimsFirst — “a network of families of deceased persons and survivors of more than two decades of previous mass shootings” — had raised nearly $3.4 million , in addition to hundreds of thousands collected for individual verified GoFundMe pages dedicated to specific victims.

VictimsFirst, on the page, said the group “started this fund to ensure that 100% of what is raised goes DIRECTLY to the victim base so that the families of the victims and the injured/wounded are protected from harm. fraud and exploitation.

“We are doing this because our own families have been re-victimized in the past by non-profit organizations raising money for themselves after a mass shooting saying they will ‘support’ the families, which is usually the legal verbiage used when donations don’t go directly to the victims/survivors themselves,” the group wrote. “We swore this would never happen again.”


The Independent Gt

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