Sandy Hook Promise, Everytown and more: Here's how to help victims of the Texas school shooting

·6-min read
GoFundMe created a fundraising hub in response to the Robb Elementary School shooting. (Photo: GoFundMe)
GoFundMe created a fundraising hub in response to the Robb Elementary School shooting. (Photo: GoFundMe)

People everywhere are looking for ways to support the community of Uvalde, Texas after 19 children and two adults were killed in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday. Fundraising organizations and nonprofits, including those that were born in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012, are stepping up to provide resources.

On Tuesday evening, GoFundMe created a hub for Texas Elementary School Shooting Relief which currently includes eight fundraisers verified by the crowdfunding platform.

"Immediately following the news, GoFundMe mobilized a crisis team and began monitoring the platform for fundraisers created to help individuals and families. GoFundMe has a dedicated Trust & Safety team reviewing fundraisers related to this tragedy," a representative tells Yahoo Life. "To make it easier for people who want to support those affected, GoFundMe launched a centralized hub to identify all verified fundraisers related to the Robb Elementary School Shooting. The hub is regularly updated as new fundraisers are verified by the Trust & Safety team and houses a number of fundraisers supporting impacted families and individuals."

In the days since the shooting in Texas, GoFundMe has verified fundraisers in the names of six of the children who were killed, made by family and friends to cover funeral expenses and other needs of the families. The website's donation hub also includes two fundraisers started by organizations providing funds throughout the community — one of which has raised over $3 million.

The Texas Elementary School Shooting Victims Fund was created by Victims First, which is a network of families who have been affected by mass shootings in the past out of frustration that collected funds weren't properly and directly distributed to victims and their families. Since 2012, the group has been responding to mass shootings and mass casualty crimes across the country by protecting victims, educating communities and ensuring that families receive the support they truly deserve.

"Families of the deceased from Columbine, VaTech, Northern Illinois University, the Aurora theater shooting, the Oak Creek Sikh Temple shooting and Newtown (Sandy Hook Elementary School) joined together to help establish the National Compassion Fund with the National Center of Victims of Crime. Since then, families from across the nation from other mass shootings including Tucson, Vegas, Alturas, Santa Barbara (Isla Vista), Roseburg and Orlando Pulse, Boulder and others have endorsed the National Compassion Fund," the GoFundMe page reads.

The National Compassion Fund is said to provide "a single, trusted way for the public to give directly to victims of mass casualty crimes" by working with affected communities to "fairly and transparently distribute those funds to the victims."

On GoFundMe, Victims First writes, "The funds collected will go to the families in cash payments with no strings attached, thereby fulfilling the full intent of the donors (you)." The fund has currently raised $3,125,900 of a $4 million goal.

Victims First isn't the only organization made up of families and communities previously affected by mass shootings now raising funds for the community of Uvalde. Sandy Hook Promise, a national nonprofit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, has also taken action.

Through fundraising efforts, education and petitions, the organization is on a mission to end school shootings by passing gun safety legislation and making people aware of the warning signs that may precede an attack.

In a press release sent out by Sandy Hook Promise after the shooting at Robb Elementary School, the organization pointed out features of its "Know the Signs" program that are relevant to the ongoing investigation — including cryptic messages posted to social media by the shooter and evidence that he had been withdrawing from family and friends and had been engaged in self-harm.

"Taken individually, warning signs may not directly correlate to a mass shooting, but those exhibited by the Robb Elementary School shooter point to someone who was clearly at risk of harming themselves or others. Warning signs like those offer an opportunity to interrupt violence and must be taken seriously by acting immediately to get help," Sandy Hook Promise writes. "Reversing the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our nation requires a holistic approach that combines (1) community awareness of warning signs and how to effectively intervene, (2) research on root causes and effective upstream prevention strategies, and (3) sensible gun safety policy."

While neither Everytown nor its smaller networks of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action immediately responded to Yahoo Life's request for comment, volunteers of the organization have already been outspoken about the need for action and change in response to the latest mass shooting.

The movement, which is the "largest gun violence prevention organization in America," has also made action accessible by allowing people to sign up for emails and text messages informing them of local ways to reduce gun violence in communities.

Donations made to Everytown's Gun Safety Action Fund are currently being matched by Mike Bloomberg, who is a founding chair member of the organization, until Tuesday, May 31. Celebrities including Chrissy Teigen and Lenny Kravitz have also used their platforms to support Everytown's fundraising efforts.

People can also support families who have loved ones being treated at University Hospital in San Antonio, Texas through University Health's Uvalde Victims Relief Fund.

"These donations will be used to cover any unpaid medical expenses, lodging, food and other needs identified by our social workers," the donation page reads. "Any unspent funds after they are discharged from the hospital will be donated to Uvalde charities involved in the ongoing relief efforts."

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