How To Help The San Bernardino School Shooting Victims & Their Community

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On April 10, a teacher and a young student died in a shooting at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, California. According to police, a female special education teacher, Karen Smith, was fatally shot by her husband, who then killed himself. Two students were also shot, and Jonathan Martinez, 8, died after being airlifted to the hospital. It's important to remember that the lives of many people have been irreparably altered through this incident. If you're feeling helpless and saddened, there are ways for you to help the San Bernardino victims.

When tragedy strikes, it is not often that the people who are affected are prepared. In the case of a school shooting, you can try to prepare by practicing evacuation drills, planning what to do in case of an emergency, but ultimately when a shooting occurs, it's easy to forget what you had planned. Regardless, there are ways that the community and country as a whole can pitch in to help.

Tragic events often bring people together, so this horrible situation can hopefully at least foster some sense of community spirit and outreach to those affected.

Here are a few small ways that you can help the victims in San Bernardino.

Donate To The Families Affected

Sadly, children were killed and injured in the San Bernardino shooting, and one teacher was killed. Many times after a tragic event, the families of those affected need assistance paying hospital or funeral bills. The family of fatally-shot 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez has set up a GoFundMe page to help the family take care of funeral expenses as well as meals and needs for the family in their time of grief. Anything you can contribute to them is helpful. You can also donate to the family of Nolan Brandy, who was shot during the confrontation. He's currently recovering from his injuries and could use any money you can give for his medical bills and recovery.

Educate Yourself On Gun Laws

Each time there is a mass shooting, it's inevitable that the discussion of gun control is once again addressed. Knowing the gun laws in California is helpful if you decide to join the debate.

Make An Appointment To Give Blood Regularly

Although a (thankfully) small number of people were injured in the shooting, and the likeliness that blood donations are needed is low, it's often not until after tragedy strikes that we think of ways to help. One way to contribute to tragedy relief before it strikes is to regularly give blood. That way, when and if something happens, communities will be ready to face it.

Help The Bureau Of Victim Services

The San Bernardino Bureau of Victim Services helps those who have experienced violent crimes. Consider donating to or volunteering for the bureau's services.

Support Educators And Counselors

Teachers and counselors had a tough job Monday as they guided their students to safety and likely had to field some tough questions. You can contact North Park to find out how to best supporting the teachers and counselors of the school.

While our actions can't undo the events that occurred in San Bernardino on Monday, any little thing we can do to contribute to helping those affected is worthwhile.