On Sunday morning a gunman opened fire inside Pulse nightclub, a popular LGBTQ venue in the Florida city of Orlando. Fifty people were killed, and more than 50 others injured, registering as the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.
As Boston joins the rest of the world in mourning this morning’s events, opportunities for those in Massachusetts and throughout New England to help and aid the victims and families affected by this senseless tragedy have arisen.
According to Mayor Marty Walsh’s LGBT liaison within the Mayor’s Office, Boston Pride events have gone on as scheduled today, but with an increased police presence.
“Boston Pride extends our sympathies to the victims and families of the tragic Orlando nightclub massacre and we stand in unison with the LGBT community of Orlando to condemn this vicious act,” writes Boston Pride in a statement. “Boston Pride is working closely with Boston Police Department to ensure the safety and security of all the patrons of the block parties, which are annual events to celebrate Pride Week.”
A moment of silence was held at 4 p.m. this afternoon at scheduled block parties on St. James Avenue and in Jamaica Plain. Vigils have also been scheduled, one for today at 6 p.m. on Boston Common (at the Parkman Bandstand) and another tomorrow outside City Hall, also at 6 p.m..
— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) June 12, 2016
How to donate to victim’s families
Equality Florida writes: “Funds raised on this page will be going directly to the victims and families affected by the horrific shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub. Equality Florida is working with local organizations — who are also helping to raise funds — to ensure the money is distributed properly. Thank you for the support!”
As many news outlets are reporting, local Orlando facilities are overwhelmed by potential blood donors, with the OneBlood center reaching capacity. This afternoon, UniversalHub asked where people in Boston could donate blood to help the victims in Orlando, and commenters have listed several options, including contacts at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Children’s Blood Donor Center, and the blood donor program at Mount Auburn Hospital.
Even if the donations locally do not make it to Orlando, having blood banks fully stocked in the event of a future emergency can help saves lives.
— Conor (@OneNOnlyConor) June 12, 2016
The Concert Across America To End Gun Violence
Bill Janovitz of Buffalo Tom announced this morning he is involved with the Boston edition of a September 25 concert that will attempt to unify the country and take a stand against gun violence. “My joy from last night’s exuberant Buffalo Tom show at the Paradise lasted until learning the Orlando news this morning,” he writes. “My next show will be as part of this Concert Across America for gun control event, which I’m helping organize in Boston on September 25.”
The concerts will be widespread and held across the country, from coast to coast, in harmony, and likely live-streamed and/or broadcasted. Back in 2007, Congress designated September 25 as the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.
More information on this event will no doubt emerge in the coming weeks. Click the link for where things currently stand, and for information on how to help organize or participate.
From an article in Time Magazine this morning: “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.”