What Meghan And Harry Have Done For The Uvalde Community After Tragic School Shooting

The small town of Uvalde, Texas, was shattered in May 2022 by a horrific school shooting. In a senseless scenario that has sadly become all too familiar in America, an 18-year-old man armed with several rifles entered two adjoining classrooms at Robb Elementary School and began firing. Police arrived quickly, but through a series of apparent misjudgments and miscommunications, they waited nearly 90 minutes before confronting the gunman, as reported by the Texas Tribune

He was eventually killed, but not before taking the lives of 19 children and two teachers. Many mourners came to visit the area and offer comfort to the grieving community. Among them were President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, who attended church services and met privately with the victims' devastated families (via Associated Press). But the most unexpected visitor to Uvalde was Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, who notably arrived without any notice or fanfare.

Appearing "in a personal capacity as a mother" rather than as a member of the royal family (via People), the duchess laid flowers at a public memorial, donated blood, and helped with a food drive. She was so unobtrusive that many volunteers at the blood drive didn't realize who she was, according to BuzzFeed. Now Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, are giving back to Uvalde in a larger and much more lasting way. 

The Sussexes built a playground for Uvalde

According to Express, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, have donated a playground to the town of Uvalde, Texas. Their Archewell Foundation teamed up with Kaboom, a nonprofit devoted to providing safe play spaces for children in underserved areas. The newly opened DeLeon Park is just four blocks from Robb Elementary School, the site of one of the most horrifying school shootings in U.S. history. 

The hope is that having a place to gather and play will provide healing to children affected by the tragedy. A press release announcing the playground confirms Uvalde's younger residents had a hand in designing the park too, asking specifically for features such as slides and merry-go-rounds. James Holt, the executive director of Archewell, said in a statement, "It has been an honor to support the children and families in Uvalde design and build this amazing space where the community can come together."

He continued, "Our hope is that this special project can help the community heal, and be home to imagination, games and play for many years to come." This is just the latest philanthropic effort from the Sussexes who, like other royals, are devoted to giving back. For instance, Prince Harry has vowed to donate the proceeds from his upcoming book to charity. No word yet on whether the royal couple will be bringing Archie and Lilibet to play at DeLeon Park, but it wouldn't be surprising to see them there.