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Coping after the mass shooting in Orlando – 7 things you can do right now

As we continue to mourn the loss of the 49 killed in the largest mass shooting and hate crime in the US – here is what you can do right now.

  1. Donate to the victims and victim’s families
  2. Donate to LGBT advocacy groups globally
  3. Learn about the deceased victims
  4. Learn about the heroes
  5. Take care of yourself and your community
  6. Register to vote and get involved in politics & policy
  7. Share these stories

Coping after the mass shooting in Orlando – 7 things you can do right now (1).jpg

Image used under CC license from Iorna

1. Donate to the victims and victim’s families

There are many great options, but we recommend donating directly to 3 charities:

  1. Equality Florida – Donate Here
  2. National Compassion Fund – Donate Here
  3. OneOrlando Fund – Donate Here

Make your donation go further – before you donate check to see if your employer has a corporate matching policy!

Equality Florida, the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, is a registered 501c3 and has the ability to make a genuine difference to the victims and families, to assist with crisis hotlines, and to help the community at large. You can give with confidence that you are directly supporting people in need impacted by the tragedy.  They are the group running the largest GoFundMe for the victims, however GoFundMe takes a 5% commission and your donation is not tax deductible. Donate Heremake a note in the message this if for the victims.

National Compassion Fund is a registered 501c3 that has directly managed victim giving for other mass shooting is the US.  100% of the funds received through the Compassion Fund are distributed directly to victims. Donations to the National Compassion Fund are held separately from general donations to the National Center for Victims of Crime. The Compassion Fund is working closely with Equality Florida to combine efforts and ensure fair and transparent distribution of the donations received. Donate Here

OneOrlando Fund was setup by the city of Orlando to provide a way to help respond to the needs of their community, now and in the time to come, after the effects of the Pulse tragedy. The distribution of the funds will be administered by the Central Florida Foundation. The Foundation serves as the region’s community foundation and is home to more than 400 charitable funds. The One Orlando fund is a project of Strengthen Orlando, Inc, a 501c3. Donate Here

2. Donate to LGBT advocacy groups globally

LGBT rights are human rights – to continue the fight full equality we need to support LGBT advocacy groups in whatever way we can.  Whether it’s through volunteering or donating we need to fervently continue the battle against homophobia and fight until every personal has true equality!

Some options include:

Make your donation go further – before you donate check to see if your employer has a corporate matching policy!

3. Learn about the deceased victims

Say LGBT – lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender – and learn about the term Latinx (a term for Latinos and Latinas which also respects gender nonconformity) and how important it is to respect not only sexual identity, but also gender identity and expression. Since this was Latin night at The Pulse nightclub, the victims are overwhelmingly Latinx. Here are their names (at the time of this writing, there are 49 dead):

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

Here’s a very touching tribute to the victims from Anderson Cooper

Here are more details about the victims

4. Learn about the heroes

Amidst the unfathomable tragedy are stories of true human heroism.  These stories – of a war veteran who led dozens to safety, of a man who silenced a fellow club-goer so the shooter would not hear her screams and find her, of a mom who pushed her son out of harm’s way so that he would live, of countless people waiting in line for five or more hours to donate blood, of massive donations from across the country of food and water to the blood donor centers, and many more.  Read about some of these individuals and how truly amazing they are here and here

5. Take care of yourself and your community

Attend a vigil

There are hundreds of vigils happening now through June 19th all over the globe.  Find a vigil near you here

Support yourself with resources

Consult this growing community-compiled list of resources compiled by librarians and teachers, #PulseOrlandoSyllabus – find it here

Call for support

If you need support there are lots of places you can get help!  You are not alone.

  • 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.

Check in with and be there for friends

Reach out to your personal extended queer network, make sure you and your people are getting the love and support they need.

6. Register to vote and get involved in politics & policy

What happened at The Pulse club is the largest mass shooting and hate crime in the history of the US and touches a wide variety of political issues.  The only way we can make meaningful change is through unity and action.

Register to Vote Here

We are the ones who elect not only the President, but house members and senators that write and pass or deny major policy.  Register to vote educate yourself on policy, and then go and vote.

7. Share on social media & continue the discussion

  It’s so important to share our collective stories, read them and take action. Whether you share this story, your thoughts on Facebook, the stories of heroes, or a video that moved you – continue to show that the fight for equality is nowhere near finished.  Use the hashtag #WeAreOrlando

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      Author's profile photo Moya Watson
      Moya Watson

      In the face of such darkness, it is good to know what we can do and all of the places that we can bring light.  Thank you so much Jillian for putting this together and helping us at SAP and beyond #RunProuder.  #WeAreOrlando