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'We're here to support the families' | Uvalde families receive almost $500,000 from LULAC donation

The money was raised as part of a nationwide campaign

UVALDE, Texas — The Uvalde families of the victims from the Robb Elementary shooting will be receiving nearly $500,000 as a donation from the League of United Latin American Citizens.

"We came together as Americans and Texans to help those that have suffered as a consequence of gun violence and the issues regarding mental health that we're facing," Domingo Garcia, the National President of the organization said. "We're here to support the families, let them know we care, that they're not alone and also see what we can do to make change." 

Garcia also said the survivors of the shooting will also receive checks. They also said they would be bestowing LULAC’s purple heart award on the victims' families. 

One of the survivors honored was Noah Orona. He was a fourth grader in Room 112 during the mass shooting and was shot in the back. His father, Oscar Orona said he spent over a week in the hospital, and has been through a very traumatic experience. 

"This will certainly go a long way, not only in his after care, but hopefully in his education as well," Orona said of the donation provided by LULAC. 

Orona said a lot of the assistance programs available are income based, which he and his wife do not qualify for. 

"We went back to work probably a little too soon because we have a household to maintain, I can't imagine allowing my electric bill going past due because in this heat there's just no way," he said. 

After honoring the survivors, Garcia said each would receive a $1,000 scholarship to the college of their choice when that time comes. 

During Saturday's event, LULAC representatives also swore in members for a Uvalde LULAC chapter, which Javier Cazares joined as an avenue to continue advocating for more gun control. 

Cazares lost his 9-year-old daughter Jackie Cazares in the mass shooting. 

"Change will come, as long as it takes, we’re gonna fight," he said. Cazares added he joined the army when he was 18-years-old and is familiar with AR-15's. 

"An 18 year old doesn't need that weapon...I saw the damage it did to my little girl." 

Cazares said he has tried to return to work following the tragedy, but has struggled to grieve the way his daughter's life was taken.  

LULAC says they raised the money through the national campaign 'Pray for Texas'. 

On May 24, a gunman opened fire inside of a classroom killing 21 people including 19 students and two teachers. 

The checks were handed out at the Southwest Texas Junior College Cafeteria.

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