Communities are rallying together after an 18-year-old shot and killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Funds from organizations all around the state–including from Austin’s own Los Verdes–are being raised to support families affected by the tragedy. Here's how you can help.
If you are looking for ways to help, please consider donating blood. Your donation can help ensure we have supplies immediately available for the victims of this tragic shooting.— University Health (@UnivHealthSA) May 24, 2022
Our donor room has availability the rest of the week. Please schedule online: https://t.co/0F2lKDqYzO
Austin-area residents can donate blood with We Are Blood.
South Texas Blood & Tissue was able to send a total of 25 units of blood both to the school and local hospitals to support treatment. After an emergency blood drive on Wednesday, the blood center is hosting a Memorial Day blood drive and should have appointments opening the following week.
The largest blood transfuser in the San Antonio area, the University Health System, is also asking members of the community to donate blood. Appointments may be scarce due to demand.
The Los Verdes community is heartbroken at today's senseless act of gun violence in Uvalde that ended 15 lives too early. We are currently raising funds to support the families who lost loved ones today, and you can join by donating here. https://t.co/52L1ZtbSND— Los Verdes (@LosVerdesATX) May 24, 2022
There is a growing list of verified fundraisers through GoFundMe, where almost $2 million has been raised so far for families and victims of the tragedy.
- The VictimsFirst fundraiser is raising $2 million to provide “100% of what is collected” to the victims’ family members.
- Austin-based Los Verdes Supporter Group is raising $100,000 for the families “affected by the horrific school shooting at Robb Elementary.”
- Allison McCullough, the aunt of victim Makenna Lee Elrod, is raising $50,000 for her family.
- The Alithia Ramirez funeral fund is working on raising $8,000 for the young girl’s funeral.
- More are being added by the hour.
An official account with First State Bank has been set up for donations through UCISD to assist the families of this tragedy.— Uvalde CISD (@Uvalde_CISD) May 25, 2022
Please know that the FSB account, is the only verified location to make any monetary donations. No other source is currently recognized. pic.twitter.com/psQb6fD6Ls
Uvalde CISD has opened an account to support families of the victims with the First State Bank of Uvalde. Checks to donate should be made payable to the "Robb School Memorial Fund" or through Zelle at email@example.com.
The League of United Latin American Citizens has created a fund for victims, which it says will donate 100% to families and University Health has also organized the Uvalde Victims Relief Fund to help provide care for victims.H-E-B has also donated $500,000 to aid victims and is collecting donations for its Spirit of Giving Fund, which supports philanthropic efforts in the wake of Texas tragedies. Starting Wednesday, shoppers at H-E-B, Central Market, Joe V’s Smart Shop and Mi Tienda can donate at checkout or online.
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Starting Friday, the No. 9-ranked Texas Longhorns baseball team will welcome three NCAA Division I teams for the Austin Regional Tournament as it looks to reach the College World Series for the second year in a row.
No. 1 seed Austin will host its regional postseason tournament for the second consecutive year as the team kicks off against No. 4 seed Air Force at 1 p.m. Friday.
The tournament will also include No. 2 seed Louisiana Tech and No. 3 seed Dallas Baptist, with each team vying for a top spot in the double-elimination weekend event.
Despite coming in as opposite seeds, Texas (42-19) appears to be evenly matched its first opponent, the Air Force Falcons (30-27,) after the two split a two-game series at the Austin field in April. Both teams rank in the top 10 for batting averages, with the Longhorns ranked third with a .321 average.
Texas comes into the tournament after it was blown out by rival Oklahoma University 8-1 in a fight for the Big 12 Championship. Originally poised as a No. 1 ranked team, the Longhorns earned 11 wins in a row to kick off the season before racking up a 14-10 record in Big 12 Conference play.
Meanwhile, the Air Force comes into the game off a four-game win streak after winning the Mountain West Conference Tournament May 28. Louisiana Tech, which takes on Dallas Baptist at 6:30 p.m. Friday, enters the tournament as Conference USA champions for the first time in its history, while DBU lost out on its conference title after racking up a 34-22-1 record this season.
Austin will host the regional tournament for a record 37th time as it makes its 61st appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the regional will advance to the Super Regional against the winner of the Greenville Regional Tournament before the College World Series kicks off against the top 8 teams on June 17 in Omaha, Nebraska.
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By Willow Higgins
Austin’s Office of Sustainability is working on the city’s first-ever food plan—a coordinating structure that is designed to help bridge disparities in local food access in a sustainable way.
While Austin’s food system includes state-of-the-art restaurants and groceries across the city, the quality and quantity of food access is bifurcated by race and poverty, explained Edwin Marty, the food policy manager of the sustainability office, to the Parks and Recreation Board.
Some statistics are bleak. Nearly 40 percent of Travis County ZIP codes don’t have a full-service grocery store, while the city of Austin alone wastes a projected 1.24 million pounds of food every day. Travis County farmland is also decreasing at an unprecedented rate – an estimated 16.8 acres of farmland is lost daily, and less than 1 percent of food consumed in the area is produced locally. When disasters like the Covid-19 pandemic or Winter Storm Uri hit, the inequality of our food system is further exacerbated.
“These two combination disasters showed us, the city of Austin, that we have a lot of planning to do, and we have a lot of work to do to ensure that we have a resilient and sustainable food system,” Marty said.
“Our goal with a comprehensive food system plan is to hear from the community: What do they want to see happen in our food system? What can we do to strengthen our food system? What are some things that we as a city organization could do and how can we support our community?”
In June of last year, City Council directed a planning process and engagement strategy for the Austin-Travis County Food System Plan, a five-year plan crafted by experts and stakeholders.
In conjunction with the future plan, the sustainability office will soon publish the city’s 2022 State of the Food System, a report that will dive into the data behind trends and challenges in the local food system and include information about past food policy actions.
The plan is in its beginning phases, and Marty briefed the parks board on the sustainability office’s work as an introduction to the project. Currently, the office is working on cultivating the right team to execute the project, hiring a consulting team that will help lead the process alongside the sustainability office. They’re also assembling a Community Advisory Committee to provide direction to the planning process. The group will be composed of about 20 to 25 people from “across our wonderful, diverse community … that represent various parts of our food system,” Marty said. Once the consultant team is approved by City Council and onboarded this summer, the CAC recruitment process will begin.
“In addition to the … committee, we’ll also have community advisory groups,” he said. “These will be targeted issue areas – you can imagine community gardens or school gardens or urban (forestry).” Participation will come alongside financial compensation to ensure the groups include equitable representation.
The recruitment and selection process for the advisory committee and groups will begin this fall, and the plan itself is expected to be developed and delivered by mid-2023. In the meantime, the Office of Sustainability is focusing on outreach.
“The main thing that we want you to know is we are interested in your feedback on who needs to be involved in the planning process,” Marty said to the parks board. “We can’t develop a good food system plan unless we have the right people involved. So this is my call to action for you – let’s circle back soon and let us know who you think needs to be involved with the Community Advisory Committee and focus group areas and we will do our best to … create the best possible food system plan.”
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