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Uvalde shooting survivors and families of victims can now apply for financial aid

Church members mourn at Primera Iglesia Bautista in Uvalde on Thursday.
Patricia Lim
Church members mourn at Primera Iglesia Bautista in Uvalde in May after the school shooting at Robb Elementary.

Families and victims of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde can start applying to access the more than $16 million available from donations meant to help them with their recovery.

The application process for the Uvalde Together We Rise Fund, which is overseen by the National Compassion Fund, opened Tuesday.

Parents of Uvalde students have expressed confusion over how to access the multiple sources of financial assistance being offered to them. Jeff Dion, the executive director of the National Compassion Fund, said in an email that his team has “trained navigators, bankers, investment advisors, and volunteer lawyers standing by to assist families through this process.”

Dion told The Texas Newsroom the money comes from six different groups collecting and combining donations.

Eligible applicants include the families of those who were killed, individuals who were injured or were at the school when the shooting happened, and people who worked at the nearby funeral home.

Dion said the “overwhelming majority of people we will be giving money to are children.” He said parents would need to open a trust before starting the application.

According to the National Compassion Fund guidelines, the trusts will protect the money for the minors and be “used for the health, education, welfare, and support of the child while the child is growing up.”

Once the individual turns 21, they can use the money however they see fit.

Nineteen kids and two teachers died on May 24 after an 18-year-old gunman entered Robb Elementary School and opened fire. Many more were injured.

It is the deadliest school shooting in Texas and the second deadliest elementary school shooting in the country.

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán is the former Texas Capitol reporter for The Texas Newsroom.
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