The community of Virginia Beach, Virginia is in mourning after a mass shooting in a municipal building that killed 12 employees and injured four people on Friday, May 31. In the wake of the attack, the community is still shaken and receiving aid from a variety of different organizations and the state. If you want to make a difference in light of the attack, here's how to help Virginia Beach shooting victims to assist in recovery efforts.
The deadly shooting at the city's Public Utilities Department began at 4 p.m. on May 31, according to Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera, and the community will definitely need help in the aftermath. According to NPR, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam condemned the act of "unspeakable, senseless violence," and he said that the state will be offering support to survivors, family of the victims, as well as first responders. The mayor of Virginia Beach called the shooting "the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach," per CNN.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to share his condolences to the community and also pledged the federal government's support, although he did not specify what that would be. He wrote, "Spoke to Virginia Governor
@RalphNortham last night, and the Mayor and Vice Mayor of Virginia Beach this morning, to offer condolences to that great community. The Federal Government is there, and will be, for whatever they may need. God bless the families and all!"
While the state and federal government have pledged their support to the community, you can also make a difference if you want to help those impacted by the attack.
One way to get involved is to send supplies or donate to the Red Cross, which shared that it is on the ground helping victims in a Facebook post shortly after the shooting.
"Our team is providing snacks and water to emergency personnel involved in the response to the shooting in Virginia Beach City Government," the post read. "We stand ready to provide additional support as needed. Our deepest condolences to all those impacted by this tragic event."
If you want to work with a more local organization, the United Way of South Hampton Roads has partnered up with the community to raise funds for the victims and their families. According to their website, 100% of all money raised will go to the victims. You can donate by filling out a form or by texting VABEACH to 41444.
Another way to get involved is by donating to a verified GoFundMe, which was started by a Hampton Roads community member to help support victims of the shooting and their families. At the time of publication, $735 had been raised of the $20,000 goal, and all proceeds will go to United Way to help those in need.
If you live in the area and want to help, you can volunteer at Volunteer Hampton Roads. Volunteers are needed through June 15, and you can get involved by filling out an application and waiting to hear back from the team.
Again, any bit helps those who are still reeling from the tragedy, so I'd look through the different options, and choose what you feel most comfortable with before getting involved.