GoFundMe Sets Up Hub to Keep Scammers From Uvalde Tragedy

Crowdfunding platform has verified fundraisers; blood donations, legal services also needed for Texas victims
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2022 9:40 AM CDT
How to Donate to Uvalde Shooting Victims
A state trooper walks past the Robb Elementary School sign in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday following a deadly shooting at the school.   (William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

Wanting to help victims and their families after a tragic event is a natural impulse, but avoiding scammers is key to making sure your money gets into the right hands. After Tuesday's mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 children and two adults were massacred, crowdfunding site GoFundMe has taken steps to keep fraud at bay, including with a centralized hub of verified fundraisers for people to donate to. "Immediately following the news, GoFundMe mobilized a crisis team and began monitoring the platform for fundraisers created to help individuals and families," GoFundMe stated in a press release, per Mashable. "GoFundMe has a dedicated Trust & Safety team reviewing fundraisers related to this tragedy."

The platform notes that as more fundraisers pop up, it will hold any and all donations until it can confirm the money will end up with the "right party." If things seem shady, all funds will be returned to those who donated. Here, some ways to help:

  • One of the largest currently verified fundraisers, organized by the VictimsFirst nonprofit, had brought in more than $460,000 by Wednesday morning for victims and their families.
  • Two other fundraisers—another one for the families in general, and one for the family of 10-year-old Xavier Lopez, killed in the ambush—are also currently online.
  • The Austin American-Statesman notes that concerned locals can also help by donating blood over the next few days and weeks, via emergency blood drives set up to assist victims. University Health, one of Texas' largest health systems, is setting up appointments online, as is South Texas Blood & Tissue, both this week and beyond.
  • Legal services are also in need, per NPR. The San Antonio Legal Services Association has put out a call to attorneys to volunteer pro bono assistance to victims and their families. SALSA requests any lawyers in the area to email them at UvaldeResponse@sa-lsa.org with the type of law they practice and what their schedule is like through the end of next month.
(Read more Uvalde mass shooting stories.)

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