Thousand Oaks Bar Shooting: How to Help Victims and Families
Read the full story below or on the Agoura Hills Patch website.
THOUSAND OAKS, CA — As the mass shooting that killed 13 people at the borderline Bar & Grill Wednesday night sends shock waves through the community, authorities have identified ways you can help. Mayor Andy Fox pleaded to the community that with many injured at area hospitals, the pressing need for the Agoura Hills, Thousand Oaks and Moorpark communities is for blood donations.
“First and foremost, as all of you know, several people lost their lives overnight,” he said. “It is not just the time for community prayers, but it is also time to donate.”
Thousand Oaks La Reina High School was already holding their annual fall blood drive when hundreds of area residents arrived to stand in line, wanting to help. By 11:30 a.m., over 500 people were waiting their turn, the mood was patient, somber and sorrowful.
Tony Guevara, the head of La Reina High School, talked to NBC4 regarding the number of people who came to help.
“When tragedy strikes, it calls forth the best in the community,” Guevara said. “We felt opening the blood drive to the community was the right thing to do.”
The La Reina High School planned to open the school gymnasium to anyone wanting to give blood again on Friday at 10 a.m.
“If you can’t give today, please give tomorrow,” he said.
For people wishing to donate funds, authorities are accepting donations for victims through the Ventura County Community Foundation.
Jim Rivera, the Chief Compliance Officer of the VCCF, told reporters that the victim’s fund would provide direct assistance. “100-percent of the funds collected will go directly to provide assistance to the victims and their families,” Rivera said.
Though several GoFundMe donation sites have sprung up since Wednesday night, they haven’t been verified as authentic. Mayor Fox suggested donating through the Ventura County Community Foundation here: https://VCCF.org
The Ventura County Community Foundation, in coordination with City of Thousand Oaks, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and others, has set up a specific fund for victims and families of the Thousand Oaks shooting.
“While the horror washes over all of us, many of you from around the region and the country are leaping into action to support the victims, families, and organizations providing first and second line support,” a foundation spokesperson said.
“These families have suffered tremendous loss,” he said. “We want to thank our first responders for the great job, quick action, and getting the wounded to area hospitals, we could not be prouder of our firefighters and sheriff’s department as well as allied agencies.”
The La Reina High School blood drive was held at 106 Janss Road in Thousand Oaks.
An extended blood drive was expected to be put into place on Friday, and area hospitals are also available for blood donations.
Mayor Fox reminded that Thursday would be “a difficult day for many people” and that a community candlelight vigil was planned for Thursday night at city hall.
“Everyone is invited to attend the vigil, planned for 6 p.m. at the Thousand Oaks Civic Center,” Fox said.
A second location in Thousand Oaks was established by the Red Cross at: 75 West Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks.