After last week's massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, the Texans wanted to do something to help. The players, coaches and football operations raised $200,000 for the Robb School Memorial Fund. That total was matched by Texans Chairman and CEO Cal McNair and the organization, so $400,000 will go to the fund for monetary aid and wellness support.
While money won't bring back the lives lost, or take away the families' grief, Head Coach Lovie Smith was hopeful the gesture could help in other ways.
"Money can only do so much," Smith said. "But as much as anything, we want to bring awareness to gun violence."
In addition to the donation, Smith, the staff and the players wore orange t-shirts at practice on Wednesday at the Houston Methodist Training Center. Week two of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) was underway, and the organization showed its support with the orange shirts that said "We Are Texans. We Stand With Uvalde." The Texans are encouraging Houstonians to join them in wearing orange on Friday, June 3 for the 8th National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
"There are a lot of people hurting there," Running Back Rex Burkhead said. "We have one staff member, (Director of Player Care and Sports Medicine) Roland Ramirez, who this is really close to home for him. He went to that elementary school, he's from that town and knows some of the people affected by the tragedy. We're just showing our support and doing whatever we can to help those families there."
The Texans players spearheaded a donation effort and met as a team to come up with a response after last week's shootings. Defensive Lineman Jerry Hughes described how it came together.
"It was great that we had an open forum with Coach Smith," Hughes said. "He led the topic in our team meeting. It was great for everyone to come together and figure out what we were going to do so we could come out there and help those people together and help that community."
Linebacker Christian Kirksey said Ramirez's connection, along with numerous other reasons, made the tragedy in Uvalde "definitely hit home for us." Kirksey explained why the Texans wanted to respond the way they did.
"We just want to make sure that the world knows, and especially our fellow Texans know, that we're all in and we're able to help," Kirksey said. "We're not just football players. We're role models. We take our responsibility to make sure we extend a helping hand. It's important to us."
If you're interested in contributing to the Robb School Memorial Fund, you can donate directly with the First Bank of Uvalde by check or through Zelle.
The Texans are donating $400,000 to the Robb School Memorial Fund, which will provide financial assistance directly to the community. Texans players led the donation effort, coming together to give $200,000 for monetary aid and wellness support through the local fund. In support of the players' and football operations staff's generosity, the organization is matching their gift.