Orlando Pulse donors volunteers
The mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, is the deadliest in the nation’s history, and people all over are trying to find ways to help and show support. Here are some suggestions.
Here’s how you can help the victims:
The OneBlood center put out an urgent call for blood donations for the Orlando victims on Sunday, and received an overwhelming show of support. Donors were told that blood bank had reached capacity but encouraged to return in the coming days, according to the OrlandoSentinel.
“I’ve been here 13 years and never seen a response like this,” Pat Michaels, a spokesman for OneBlood, told the Sentinel. “The sentiment is understood and appreciated, but it’s a little too much, too soon.”
These are the federal rules on who can donate blood.
Orlando West Michigan Donor Center
345 W Michigan Street, Ste. 106
Orlando, FL 32806
Orlando Main Donor Center
8669 Commodity Circle
Orlando, FL 32819
Oviedo Donor Center
1954 W. State Road 426
Oviedo, FL 32765
Equality Florida set up a donation page on GoFundMe to support the victims. The fund has raised more than $120,000 from more than 3,000 donors since being set up.
Attend a Vigil
Vigils were planned in major cities across the country. Details are still being determined as of early Sunday afternoon. Orlando’s LGBT community postponed plans for a vigil following guidance from law enforcement, theSentinel reports.
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center of Central Florida asked counselors from the Orlando area to come in and help field phone calls on a hotline, the Sentinel reports. Those who would like to speak to a counselor can call 1-407-228-1446.
Donate to local LGBTQ organizations.
Equality Florida, the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, has created a GoFundMe page for the victims of the attack. Within five hours it had raised more than $330,000. You can donate here.
The local GLBT Center of Central Florida has a crisis hotline set up in the aftermath of the attack. Call if you need a shoulder to lean on: 407-227-1446.
The Trevor Project Hotline is always available for LGBTQ youth, and is open to anyone in need of support at this time. You can call them at 866-488-7386.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is here to help. Just call: 800-273-8255.
The National GLBT Center has a national hotline, a youth talk-line and an online peer-support chat. For the national hotline, dial 888-843-4564.
Fight Islamophobia and recognize LGBTQ Muslims.
There are already attempts to vilify Muslims and divide communities over the Orlando shooting. The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Florida chapter and other Muslim community groups are raising money here. They are showing solidarity between the Muslim and LGBTQ communities using the hashtag #Muslims4Pulse. It’s also an important time to recognize those who live at the intersection of those communities and support LGBTQ Muslims.