Meghan Markle was spotted in Ulvade, Texas on Thursday, just days after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at a local elementary school.
The California-based Duchess of Sussex donated food at a community center that was hosting a blood drive, and laid flowers at a memorial for the shooting victims, according to BuzzFeed News.
Blood drive volunteers told the news site that Markle quietly visited the center’s kitchen to drop off two large crates filled with sandwiches, drinks and desserts for blood donors.
“I had no idea who she was. She just was carrying on a conversation like her and I knew each other for years,” volunteer Gloria Contreras told BuzzFeed. “We were just talking about, you know, the situation and what happened what we were doing here.”
A representative for Markle confirmed to several news outlets that the duchess visited Uvalde in a “personal capacity as a mother” to offer her condolences to the community.
“She was just really sweet,” another volunteer, Georjean Burnell, told BuzzFeed News. “She just kind of walked in with her crew and started putting ice waters in the bucket with us and laying out chips for the people who were needing snacks before and after donating.”
“It’s funny, we didn’t even know it was her until after she left and now we’re so sad,” Burnell added. “I mean, to be honest, we thought she was our neighbour.”
A number of people remain hospitalised after the shooting. Uvalde Memorial Hospital received 17 children, two of whom were dead on arrival, a hospital executive told reporters earlier this week. Several patients were also transported to University Hospital in San Antonio, which is roughly 80 miles from Uvalde.