How To Help Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting Victims & The Surrounding Community
On July 28, a shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, an annual food festival meant to raise money for local charities, schools, and nonprofits, shocked the surrounding community. Though first responders were quick to the scene, at least four people were killed and at least 12 others were injured, according to CNN. In the aftermath of the tragedy, there are a few steps you can take to help Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting victims, whether you live close by or not.
There have been 280 mass shootings in the United States in just 2019 alone according to MassShootingTracker.org, and the Gilroy shooting is another addition to the list. One of the victims has been identified as 6-year-old Stephen Romero, who was visiting the festival along with his mother and grandmother before he was shot, CNN reported. Alberto Romero, Stephen's father, described his son to The Mercury News, saying, “he’s a caring loving kid, always had a smile on his face."
If you're confused about how to go about helping the victims, their families, and the Gilroy community, there are plenty of ways to lend a helping hand. Here are four simple things you can do to make a difference in the upcoming days.
Donating blood can be one of the most crucial things to do if you live in the Bay Area or anywhere near Gilroy. Blood donations are extremely helpful as 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in America. American Red Cross already reports an increased need for blood donations during the summer season, and so your donations could be the reason a victim's life is saved.
Even if you aren't in the Gilroy area, Red Cross centers around the nation are always accepting blood donations. If you want to find a Red Cross blood donation center near you, you can enter your location on their site and be directed to the center nearest you.
Donate To Stephen Romero's Family
In the wake of the tragedy, South County Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat created a gofundme page where locals and others alike are donating money to help the Romero family. According to the GoFundMe, his mom remains in the hospital. Any donation of any size can help, and as other victims are identified, you can search for GoFundMe donation pages for their families as well.
Support First Responders
First responders are crucial during these tragic events. In order to show support for them and help ensure they have the necessary equipment to always respond as quickly and efficiently as possible, you can donate to organizations like Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation which helps provide lifesaving equipment to first responders. You can donate directly on the homepage.
Write A Letter To Elected Officials
If you are hurt or outraged by the Gilroy shooting as well as other mass shootings that have occurred in the United States, let your elected officials know. You can find out more about how to contact them here. This script from Every Town For Gun Safety might help you if you you're not sure what exactly to say or write.
Whether it's through donations or by raising awareness, you can be part of the solution in the aftermath of these tragic events.