Sunday, June 12, 2016

How to Help the Pulse Shooting Victims

I was at lunch today when I first heard the news about the shooting in Orlando. What made it worse, was hearing about it in bits and pieces, never imagining how horrible the whole story really was.

Such a horrible tragedy, and one that I simply cannot fathom. I cannot fathom a gun culture that allows private citizens to own semiautomatic assault rifles. I cannot fathom a religion that teaches such hatred for the LGBT community. I cannot fathom another person feeling so threatened and scared by a love that is different that they must kill. I cannot fathom the glee with which some people jump on a tragedy to justify or advance their political agenda. I cannot fathom a lot of things about this, and it just makes me sad to think what kinds of arguments, debates, and grandstanding the next few days will bring.

I am sorry if this offends anyone, but if you are truly concerned for the victims and their families, then forget the empty platitudes of thoughts and prayers, and actually do something.

  • DONATE. Sadly, there is a financial cost to tragedy, and one families should not have to bear on top of everything else. Equality Florida has set up a Go Fund Me account for the victims and their families.
  • GIVE BLOOD. With 53 victims still in hospital, there is an urgent need for O negative, O positive, and AB blood especially. Visit or call 1-888-9-DONATE for more info.
  • DONATE. The GLBT Community Center of Central Florida in Orlando is overwhelmed with the need for a hotline and on-site grief counseling, so they have set up a Go Fund Me account as well.
  • CHECK IN: For the first time in the US, Facebook activated its safety check feature for those with friends or family in the area who may have been victims of the shooting.
  • DONATE: Local hospitals are overwhelmed and could use any help they can get in caring for the victims now, and through their rehabilitation.

The only other thing we can do is to be there for one another, to talk to one another, and to support one another. If you are feeling overwhelmed and are struggling to cope, reach out to a friend, a loved one, or a local LGBT counseling organization and get help.


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