South Texas continues to show love, support for Uvalde community

In the two months since the shooting, there has been an outpouring of support for Uvalde.

Several groups held an event in Uvalde Saturday to help the community feel more ready for what’s on the horizon as the new school year nears.

UVALDE – In exactly one month from Saturday, Aug. 6, the children of Uvalde will be heading back to school.

Some families are still feeling hesitant after the last school year ended in tragedy.

Several groups held an event in Uvalde to help the community feel more ready for what’s on the horizon.

At the El Progresso Library Saturday afternoon, the building was filled with dancing, laughter, and smiles.

“Joy and pain can live in the same heart, so we have to balance that,” Dr. Yvonne Clark said. “Though we can have those moments of laughter and happiness but then on the ver...on the opposite side of that we acknowledge there are times that we do have to address the sadness but it’s not all sad we just learn how to manage both.”

Dr. Clark is the director of It’s Okay To Cry, a children and adolescent grief center outside of Houston. She worked to organize this event to help kids and their parents address their feelings ahead of the new school year.

“Having this kind of a fun activity but still somewhat supporting emotional distress, the sadness, and the the heartache and pain that they’ve experienced would be a good way to kind of be that catalyst to get ready to go back to school,” Dr. Clark said.

Kids at the library did play therapy, got free school supplies, and met superheroes.

Outside of the library, Spirit Cookers were serving up smiles.

”So many of them have such big hearts,” James Schattle, with Spirit Cookers, said. “I mean, I see that the sad part about it but I’ve seen the positive today from some of these families that lost family members and they said thank you so much for coming and be a part of this.”

Kimberly Morgan and Eddie Garcia brought these portraits of the 21 victims from Pflugerville she created. Garcia went to Robb Elementary when he was younger.

”The connection is huge. It was tough, it still is. I don’t know any of them but the connection hurts,” Garcia said.

Processing that pain with moments of joy is what Saturday’s event is all about.

Meanwhile, 40 miles East in Hondo, a BBQ benefit was held at the golf course for the survivors of the Robb Elementary shooting.

Hondo was originally supposed to play host to a Friends of NRA event, but city council revoked their rental agreement.

The smokers got fired up at 6 a.m. and hundreds of plates were sold, all to show the people of Uvalde they’re not alone.

The plate sale is being put on by Done Right Cookers and Heavy BBQ. It’s been in the works for about a month.

It’s happening alongside a city-run golf tournament supporting the families impacted by the Robb Elementary shooting.

This is the BBQers’ second event. The first raised $30,000 for families who lost loved ones in the school shooting.

Felix Dominguez said it’s the least they can do to continue to show love and support to Uvalde.

”It could’ve happened anywhere, it could’ve happened here and they’re too close. It’s just too close to home. They, a lot of us have friends, families and it’s just…it hurts and we as the world is we need to come together,” Dominguez, with Done Right Smokers, said.

They were selling plates until they were sold out.

There’s a washer tournament happening in the same place Saturday evening. The money from that will be combined with the golf tournament and plate sale to donate to the families impacted by the school shooting.

About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.