Central Florida and the country are mourning after the horrific attack at an Orlando nightclub, early Sunday morning. As our country mourns, there are many ways for us to come together as a community and help the victims and their families.
If you’re in the Orlando area, you can help by donating blood. There is an urgent need for O Negative, O Positive and AB Plasma blood donors. Thousands of people waited in line at One Blood locations in Orlando on Sunday. One Blood has requested that those wishing to donate return within the next couple of days, as the stock will need to be replenished to continue to help those in need. Call 1-888-936-6283, visit OneBlood.org, or contact your local Red Cross for more ways to help.
The University of Central Florida will be holding a blood drive with the Big Red Bus, on Monday at 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Student Union.
Equality Florida, a nonprofit LGBT civil rights organization has set up a GoFundMe page to support the victims and their families that were affected by the shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub. Funds raised on this page will go directly to the victims and their families, according to the Equality Florida spokesperson. The page has raised more than $1 million in 23 hours. Now the goal is $2 million.
You can help Orlando hospitals by visiting OrlandoHealthFoundation.com to donate to the Orlando Regional Medical Center, where many of the victims are receiving care.
You can also donate to The Center, an LGBT center supporting the community in Central Florida. The Center will have an extensive support network in the coming weeks including grief counselors, a crisis hotline at 407-227-1446, food and goods donations and financial support for the victims and their families.
Attend a Vigil
The Central Florida community is coming together to show their support for Orlando. Vigils are being planned this week, including a candlelight vigil this Sunday at Lake Eola, starting at 8 p.m.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said that relatives of victims who need information can call a special hotline at (407) 246-4357, according to CNN. Those who would like to speak to a counselor can call 407-228-1446.
Please check back for updates.
By Alyssa Brady, Staff Writer