Watch: Grief shattered Uvalde; it has united it, too

(Lauren Witte/The Texas Tribune, Lauren Witte/The Texas Tribune)

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“If you can make changes, good changes, in your community — go ahead and do them now. Don’t wait until it gets to this point,” Stephanie Menchaca said while waiting in line to donate blood at the Herby Ham Activity Center in Uvalde. Hundreds of people had gathered at the brick building on the north side of town — some had traveled more than 100 miles — to donate blood. Most said they were just looking for ways to help the community in the aftermath of one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

[Here’s how to help Uvalde shooting victims, survivors and their families]

Residents say that virtually all of Uvalde’s 15,000 residents had some connection to the tragedy.

“People are gonna hurt, they’re gonna mourn. It’s not something that people are just going to recover,” Neftali Barboza said after a vigil on Wednesday, May 25, at Uvalde County Fairplex. “Families are gonna have to get used to living without their loved ones. It’s not going to be the same anymore.”

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