“Vegas Strong” is a phrase filled with meaning for each of us at United Way of Southern Nevada (UWSN). It stirs bittersweet emotions of remembering those who are no longer with us and then a sense of pride to live in a community that showed immense generosity, love, and care for our neighbors and visitors.
As a nonprofit organization focused on creating a better community for all, it has been an honor to partner with the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center and become part of the network of support for those affected by 1 October. The virtual and physical space the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center provides for this entire community—no matter how they were affected—is much needed.
That is why we recognize that the recent acts of violence in our neighboring communities can bring significant stress to those affected directly and indirectly by acts of mass violence. Acknowledging the stress and grief and taking positive action can make you feel better and take control of your emotions.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
There are many ways to take positive action but the highest priority is always taking care of your mental and physical health first. If you or anyone you know would like support with mental health resources, please reach out to the VSRC at 702-455-2433, or for immediate assistance during a crisis dial 988. Both numbers offer free help, no questions asked. For additional information on tips and resources, read “Make Mental Health a Priority—Because Your Happiness Is Essential” on our blog page.
Prioritize Your Physical Health
Our physical health is also a major component of our overall health and wellness. Engaging in physical activities like walking, stretching, or yoga can help with the management of stress and anxiety. The VSRC behavioral health partners can also provide referrals to other primary health services and basic needs resources.
Another way to take positive action is to become part of that network of support for other communities affected by tragedies. There are many ways to do that, and one of them is by donating blood if you are able. Blood donations remain one of the most significant ways to contribute to affected communities and it is recommended to donate blood regularly to your local blood bank. UWSN is proud to partner with the American Red Cross to host monthly blood drives at our location. Join us! To learn if donating blood is right for you, click here.
Support Victim Funds
As a city affected by mass violence, we understand how much financial donations mean to the victims’ families and survivors. That is why, after learning about a recent tragedy in a neighboring community, some UWSN staff took action and made personal donations to one of the affected communities. Donating any amount is impactful not only for a recipient but for you as a donor as well, knowing your funds are supporting someone in need.
There are a number of verified fundraisers for bereaved families and survivors of the Uvalde tragedy:
- Robb School Memorial Fund– via First State Bank of Uvalde
- Robb Elementary School Shooting– via Los Verdes Supporter Group
- Texas Elementary School Shooting Victims Fund– via VictimsFirst
- Uvalde Strong Survivors Fund– via San Antonio Area Foundation
- Uvalde Strong Fund– via San Antonio Area Foundation
- “United with Uvalde” Fund – via the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County
There are other verified fundraisers to support the families of the Buffalo tragedy and the neighborhood where the shooting took place:
- Buffalo 5-14 Survivors Fund – via the National Compassion Fund
- Buffalo Together Community Response Fund – via the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County
You can also support the family of Dr. John Cheng, who was killed in California’s Orange County shooting, and the others who were wounded:
- Support for Dr. Cheng’s Family – via community members
- Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church Victims Fund– via community members
Hearing news of traumatic experiences similar to one you’ve experienced—no matter how long ago it was—often takes an enormous toll on your mental health, but taking positive actions to support yourself, peers, or complete strangers can be an incredibly empowering form of recovery.