For hundreds of students in the Gilroy Unified School District, the new school opens on an especially bittersweet note a little over two weeks after the Garlic Festival shooting.
At least one Gilroy High School student was injured, and many student and teacher volunteers and families were at Christmas Hill Park at the time of the shooting, which killed three and injured 13.
Lady Gaga on Friday announced plans to make the opening day a little easier for classrooms in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton—cities hit with deadly mass shootings.
The “Star is Born” singer announced in an Aug. 9 Facebook post that her nonprofit, Born This Way Foundation, has partnered with the charity DonorsChoose.org to fund classroom projects in the three cities.
Around 18,000 students will benefit from Gaga’s goodwill. Funds donated to these classroom projects provided supplies like iPads, books and engineering kits. No dollar amounts were specified in the announcement.
The cornerstone of Gaga’s foundation is supporting youth with evidence-backed programs, focusing on improving their mental health. In her post, Gaga said: “If you see a loved one struggling, please be brave and reach out, remind them it’s ok to not be ok, and listen to them. We cannot turn away from ourselves. We cannot turn away from our loved ones. We need each other. Don’t turn away.”
Below is her complete Aug. 9 Facebook announcement.
A note to Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy:
My heart goes out to those who were taken from us too soon and to their families, loved ones, and communities who are left to grieve. Everyone has the right to laws that make them feel safe in their communities. In this moment, I want to channel my confusion, frustration, and fury into hope. Hope that we are there for each other and for ourselves.
Today, I find hope in the work of DonorsChoose.org and I’m proud to partner with them and with Born This Way Foundation to fully fund the classroom project needs in Dayton, OH, El Paso, TX, and Gilroy, CA. 14 classrooms in Dayton, 125 classrooms in El Paso, and 23 classrooms in Gilroy will now have access to the support they need to inspire their students to work together and bring their dreams to life. https://www.donorschoose.org/bekind21
Surviving and recovering from these tragedies also means prioritizing your mental health and checking in on your loved ones. If you’re struggling, please be brave and tell a trusted someone. Don’t be scared to ask for help, I beg you. If you see a loved one struggling, please be brave and reach out, remind them it’s ok to not be ok, and listen to them. We cannot turn away from ourselves. We cannot turn away from our loved ones. We need each other. Don’t turn away.
In loving memory of the victims of the tragic shootings in Dayton, OH, El Paso, TX, and Gilroy, CA.