The thoughts and deepest sympathies of the entire American Red Cross family are with the Uvalde community and all those affected by this heartbreaking tragedy. The American Red Cross is coordinating with emergency officials to provide comfort and support now.
The Red Cross continues to work alongside other community organizations on the ground in Texas as well as national partners to ensure that immediate needs are being met, to include providing support for a family assistance center and several memorial sites. More than 30 trained Red Cross volunteers are onsite providing mental health, health services and spiritual care support to families who have suffered unimaginable loss and to those in the community who have also experienced emotional trauma.
Red Cross services to the community will continue in the coming days as we transition from the family assistance center to more long-term resilience support.
We understand that people around the country want to help, and we appreciate that support. Right now, the Red Cross has what it needs to respond to this tragedy. We are not accepting financial or other donations designated specifically for this event. Also, we cannot accept donations of stuffed animals, clothing, blankets or other items; please contact a local organization — such as a faith-based group, children’s hospital or women’s shelter — to see if they are able to accept such donations.
While we do not typically serve hospitals in this area of Texas, the Red Cross stands ready to provide blood and blood products as needed in response to this tragedy. Volunteer blood donors are needed each and every day to help save lives. This tragedy illustrates that it is the blood already on the shelves that helps during an emergency.
COPING AND PREPAREDNESS TIPS
This is a difficult time for everyone and it’s important for people to connect with and support each other. If you or a loved one needs help, reach out through the Disaster Distress Helpline for free 24/7 support by calling 800-985-5990 or texting TALKWITHUS to 66746.
Events like this can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety since no one knows what could potentially happen next. Remember that it's OK to feel nervous. Be patient with yourself and others. It’s common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration and anxiety.
Stay informed but limit media exposure of the events. Spend more time with family and friends, watch for signs of stress, offer your support and listen to one another. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink water and get enough rest.
Children are affected by tragedies and, just like adults, their reactions can vary. How a child reacts will depend on their age, previous experiences and how they typically cope with stress.
Children may also react, in part, to what they see from the adults around them. When parents respond calmly and confidently, they can provide better support. Parents should let children talk about their fears while reassuring them about their safety. Talk with them in ways that they can easily understand. Let them guide the conversation; share details only when they ask about them.
Limit exposure to news coverage of the event as children are especially vulnerable to stress reactions related to media.
This tragedy shows that emergencies can happen in any community at any time. And it’s critical to know what to do when an emergency occurs. Even as first responders rush into help, much of the initial care after an emergency may be provided by people nearby.
Consider registering for a Red Cross first aid course at redcross.org so that you can be better prepared to help in future emergencies. People can also download the free Red Cross First Aid app that puts free and simple lifesaving information in your hands. The app is available in app stores by searching for “American Red Cross.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.