$16 million raised for Uvalde victims has yet to reach families

A memorial dedicated to the 19 children and two adults killed on May 24th during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School is seen on June 01, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.
A memorial dedicated to the 19 children and two adults killed on May 24th during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School is seen on June 01, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. Photo credit Brandon Bell/Getty Images

According to a recent report, the funds collected for those affected by the Uvalde school shooting have yet to be distributed to the victims and are still months away from reaching them.

The Texas Tribune reported that most of the $16 million raised for those affected has not yet been distributed, and some of the families of the 24 who lost their lives are turning elsewhere to get by.

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Alfred Garza III shared with the paper that he has not been able to return to his old life, finding himself trying to get through most days since his 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza was killed along with 18 other students on May 24.

Before the shooting, the 35-year-old was a salesman, but now he’s worried about falling behind on bills while he struggles to get back to work. Still, Garza has found himself frustrated he isn’t able to get assistance from nonprofits or the state, even though millions have been donated to help people in Uvalde affected by the shooting.

Garza says he isn’t looking for “life-changing” amounts of money. He just needs enough to help him get through this “rough patch” until he is able to get back to work, the Tribune reported.

At least $16 million has been raised from thousands of donations across the country as GoFundMe accounts and local nonprofit organizations collected money to help those in need. Additionally, Gov. Greg Abbott allocated $5 million for Uvalde to open a social services center for grieving residents.

But the move from Abbott has only caused confusion, with those in the community expecting the money to go straight to the residents. The funds donated also haven’t been distributed, as local overseers want to wait two more months before sending the funds out, the Tribune reported.

“It’s just ridiculous, it’s almost like, where’s this money going? Like, ‘Hey, I need help, I need money,’” Garza told the paper.

Overseers on the committee distributing donations are trying to decide, with community input, what to do with the money and make sure relief dollars aren’t taxed if given to residents. They also want to ensure residents don’t lose benefits like Medicare and Medicaid if they get financial help, the Tribune reported.

But, Garza isn’t alone in needing help, as one in five Uvalde residents currently live below the federal poverty line.

The committee plans to give advances of $10,000 to $25,000, but only after an application process is opened next month on Sept. 8.

While the process continues, families that have lost loved ones or were injured in the Robb Elementary shooting can apply at hopeforuvalde.org for money to assist with rent, mortgages, gas, groceries, and more.

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