On Wednesday, a mass shooting at a county employee holiday party in San Bernardino, California, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, left 14 killed and 21 wounded. Two shooters, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, opened fire at the Inland Regional Center and were later killed in a shootout with police. No motive has been confirmed, but authorities are investigating the possibility of the shooting being terrorism-related, sparked by a workplace dispute, or inspired by ISIS. If you would like to help victims of the San Bernardino shooting, there are a few different ways you can do so.
Donating blood will help victims physically recover from the attack, as those who need surgery or lost a lot of blood in the shooting will need blood transfusions. The Southern California branch of the American Red Cross has blood donation centers spread throughout the area, and the closest to San Bernardino are in Riverside and Rancho Cucamonga. LifeStream, headquartered in San Bernardino supports the hospitals treating victims, and is encouraging locals to give blood. "We had a lot of blood go out Wednesday, so we're trying to replenish the amounts of blood so it can be available for those who need it," Don Escalante, a spokesperson for LifeStream, told The Los Angeles Daily News. If you don't have the financial resources to donate money, this is a great way to lend your support and help in a very direct way.
Here are some other ways you can help victims of the Dec. 2 San Bernardino shooting, whether you live in the area or across the world:
Bureau of Victim Services
The shooting victims will likely take advantage of the San Bernardino County Bureau of Victim Services at some point, which aims to help victims of violent crimes. If you live in the area, you can volunteer with the bureau, helping those injured in the shooting, as well as other violent crime victims. The bureau's website doesn't specify what volunteers do, but you must pass a background check. Alternatively, you can donate to the San Bernardino district attorney's victim aid fund, which provides small amounts of financial assistance to victims for immediate needs such as food and lodging (though it's unclear whether this fund helps with medical expenses)./p>
Arrowhead United Way
Arrowhead United Way, a volunteer-driven organization that supports health and human services in the area, set up a relief fund for the shooting victims. To help Arrowhead reach its $10,000 goal, you can donate on its website.
Benneta Betbadal Memorial Fund
A memorial fund for Benneta Betbadal, a 69-year-old mother of three killed at the Inland Regional Center, was created to raise money for her children, who are 15, 12, and 10 years old. The fundraiser has a goal of $50,000, and you can contribute on the GoFundMe site.
Nicholas Thalasinos Memorial Fund
A memorial fund for Nicholas Thalasinos, who was killed in the Dec. 2 shooting, will help his wife, Jennifer, with his funeral costs and other financial struggles that will come from losing her husband. The fund also has a GoFundMe page you can donate to.
Support The Wetzel Family
The Lil' Mamas, a blog for mothers, is crowdfunding to raise money for Michael Wetzel's family. Wetzel left behind a wife and six children, who will receive all of the money donated. You can help the Wetzels through the YouCaring fundraiser page.