Uvalde library helping community on path to healing

The El Progreso Memorial Library has vowed to keep holding community events.

The El Progreso Memorial Library in Uvalde is becoming the steering ship of love in the months since the Robb Elementary mass shooting.

UVALDE – The El Progreso Memorial Library in Uvalde is becoming the steering ship of love in the months since the Robb Elementary mass shooting.

It’s been the site of group therapy, art donations, and superhero visits for kids.

“We needed to have as many activities and programs and things that we normally would be doing as possible so that we could try to help the children heal and move forward,” Mendell Morgan, the library’s director, said.

In their vast collection, there’s no book on how to approach life after the tragedy at Robb Elementary.

Morgan remembers that day vividly.

“May the 24th was a terrible day,” Morgan said.

The library, only a four-minute drive from Robb, has started a new chapter in its story in the months after the shooting.

“I feel particularly now the inspiration is needed to help people learn to cope with their grief and the loss and to try to move forward in their own lives,” Morgan said.

On Saturday, kids painted rocks as a part of art therapy.

El Progreso has hosted superheroes, backpack drives and grief counselors in the months following the shooting.

The faces of the 21 victims killed at Robb and Irma Garcia’s husband Joe are on display in the library’s art exhibit. They’re painted by artist Lari Alejandro, a Uvalde native.

“I wanted to create something through art that could help the families, you know, help bring them a bit of comfort and also to my community,” Alejandro said.

As you walk into the library, you go into their tunnel of love that’s filled with artwork, cards, and even a bench. All of it has been donated by people across the United States to show love to Uvalde.

“It truly has been an avalanche of love and outpouring. And what it has told us is that no matter how evil, how much bad there can be in the world, it will not be overcome. It will not overcome the good that people do,” Morgan said.

Virginia Davis helped make this facility what it is today. Her name is on the building and she said seeing how the library has risen to support Uvalde makes her proud.

”I always wanted to make a difference, you know, in something. So this was my big make difference event so to speak,” Davis said.

The library has received an outpouring of financial donations as well, so much so that the children’s section has been endowed permanently allowing them to buy new books, toys, games, and software, and pay for kids’ programs.

The library posts all of its upcoming community events online.

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.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.