$2.4M fundraising campaign launched to open Uvalde Center to provide free grief support

Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas set to expand its presence in Uvalde

Community members attend a vigil at the Uvalde County Fairplex on Wednesday in Uvalde. (Sergio Flores For The Texas Tribune, Sergio Flores For The Texas Tribune)

SAN ANTONIO – The Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas is launching a $2.4 million fundraising campaign to help expand its presence in Uvalde, following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary that killed 19 students and two teachers.

“Grief is not a linear process,” Marian Sokol, executive director for the group said. “The Uvalde community and surviving families will go through many stages over an extended period of time – most likely years. We will be here for them for as long as it takes.”

The $2.4 million five-year operating budget will allow for real estate, staff salaries and training for CBCST in Uvalde. The plan includes a center offering free grief support programs to children, families and community members, along with grief and trauma training for Uvalde schoolteachers and counselors.

CBCST said they are presently operating out of a temporary space, but will look to open a more permanent location in the next 45 days. A similar temporary location in Sutherland Springs was created after the mass shooting there in November 2017.

“The Uvalde Center is intended to be a very calm, welcoming space for anyone in the community who feels they need help,” Dr. Sokol said. “Grief takes time, and our intent is not to rush anyone through that process. We just want those in Uvalde to know that we are there if and when they need us.”

The press release said fundraising for the project has already brought in donations from several San Antonio businesses and individuals. Anyone interested in doing so can online and donate by clicking here.

“CBCST is honored to support the many dedicated educators under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell, who have courageously supported the families of UCISD during this unimaginable tragedy,” Dr. Sokol said. “We will remain onsite in Uvalde in the days, weeks, and months ahead to support families who are emotionally exhausted and to provide grief education training to teachers, counselors and staff.”

Read more:

About the Author:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.