COURTHOUSE — An outpouring of support followed the mass shooting on Friday, May 31, at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, and officials are trying to guide well-wishers toward ways of helping as authorities continue to investigate while supporting the families of those lost or hurt.
“The response from the community has been amazing, the number of people who want to help,” said Mayor Bobby Dyer during an interview on Sunday, June 2.
City officials have placed links to several ways to help, either through contributions of money to help those affected or through volunteering. There is also information about the tragedy itself, the largest mass shooting in the nation so far this year.
Thirteen people, including the gunman, are dead, and four people were wounded as of early Sunday morning.
Much of the following information is available online via loveforvb.com, a page set up by the city.
- You can provide funds that will directly benefit the families of victims through a fund established in coordination with the United Way of South Hampton Roads via this link or by texting VABEACH to 41444. All of the collected funds will go to the victims, according to the city. Because the money goes to individuals, contributions are not tax deductible.
- People who want to volunteer to help the city can explore doing so via Volunteer Hampton Roads. Citizens will need to fill out a profile at the site, and they will be contacted if needed. “We ask that volunteers do not self deploy and remain at home until they are contacted and given instructions,” the city said in a statement at its website.
- Many of those who served their fellow citizens in the wake of the tragedy were volunteer first responders who are part of the largest volunteer-based emergency medical services in the U.S. You can learn more about serving as a member of one of the volunteer squads or other opportunities at the Virginia Beach Emergency Medical Services website via this link. There are support opportunities for those who do not have medical training.
- Memorial items can be brought to Building 11, the police headquarters building at 2509 Princess Anne Road, and left in an area between the building and Princess Anne Road. Hundreds of people have visited the spot, leaving flowers, wreaths and other items.
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