The American Red Cross is saddened by the tragic church shooting that took place Sunday in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The Red Cross is on the ground to provide comfort and support.
At the request of local emergency officials, the Red Cross is supporting a Family Assistance Center for those affected and a Respite Center for first responders. The Red Cross is also mobilizing additional volunteers who specialize in mental health and health services to help care for loved ones struggling to come to terms with this heartbreaking event. Over the coming days, the Red Cross will continue to coordinate closely with local officials and community partners to determine how we can best support this tightknit community.
The Red Cross stands ready to provide blood and blood products as needed, and we are grateful for all donors who generously give blood throughout the country. This tragedy illustrates that it is the blood already on the shelves that helps during an emergency. Volunteer blood and platelet donors are needed each and every day to help save lives.
While the Red Cross is not accepting financial donations designated specifically for this event, we always need the public to help support the nearly 64,000 other disasters we respond to every year around the country. Donations for Red Cross Disaster Relief are used to help people and communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters big and small.
Emergencies can happen in any community at any time. Right now, the Red Cross has what it needs to support this event.
Coping and Preparedness Tips
This is a difficult time for everyone affected and it’s important for people to connect with and support each other. The Red Cross offers the following tips to help people stay strong:
· Events like this can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety since no one knows what could potentially happen next. Remember that it's okay to feel nervous.
· Stay informed but limit media exposure of the events, especially for children. Children are especially vulnerable to stress reactions related to media.
· Parents should let children talk about their fears and then reassure 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.
· Be patient with yourself and others. It’s common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration and anxiety.
· Spend more time with family and friends and offer your support. Hug one another and listen.
· Watch for signs of stress in your family, friends and children. Get help from others if needed.
· Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water and get enough rest.
To reach out for free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746.