This week, tragedy struck a club in Orlando that shook the country and the world to its core. In the early hours of June 12, a gunman opened fire in a nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 and injuring 53. The event has been labeled the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
During times of crisis, we often feel helpless, especially from so far away. For those feeling called to lend a hand, there are many ways to help:
- Donate Blood: Many have been flocking to blood banks across the country to donate blood for the victims of the shooting in Orlando. While the initial urgent need for blood has been met, citizens are still being asked to donate since the need for blood will continue in the coming weeks. You can find a donation center/blood bank near you by visiting oneblood.org, http://www.redcross.org/give-blood, http://www.americasblood.org/ and many other sites.
- Donate Money: For those feeling compelled to generously donate money, there are many reputable organizations and campaigns to contribute to. The Pulse Tragedy Community Fund was started by Orlando LGBT organizations and centers and contributions go toward on-site grief counseling and a hotline. Equality Florida has also set up a GoFundMe account to help those who survived the shooting and their families.
- Donate Time: Support the causes you care about by joining grassroots movements, advocating for equality and providing support for those in need. Whether that’s joining an advocacy group near you, being a sounding-board for those who are grieving or spreading the word in your own community, your love and support for those who are suffering can go a long way. If you’re in the Orlando area, many organizations are looking for on-site therapists and counselors, as well as therapy animals to help with grief counseling. You can also show your solidarity by attending vigils and using social media tags like #OneOrlando, #OrlandoUnited, #StandWithOrlando and many more.
Our thoughts continue to go out to those affected by the tragedy in Orlando.