When horrible, awful, inexplicable things happen, it leaves us feeling helpless. Orlando is very close to my hometown, and it's absolutely heartbreaking looking on Facebook one morning and seeing so many lives taken in one place over one weekend. I saw dozens of friends sharing their stories of dancing the night away at Pulse nightclub so many other, insignificant nights before and checking in as "safe" because they live in the area and were simply lucky enough to not be at the wrong place at the wrong time. It just plain sucks, guys. I don't know how to explain it, and maybe there's not an immediate solution, but there are things we can do to help. I promise you that no matter what your political stance on anything is, division is not the answer. We have to come together, be there for each other and accentuate the good. Be open, kind, understanding, listen, argue less and try one of the following 10 ways to help the victims of the Orlando Pulse shooting.this beautiful hand-illustrated coloring book through the end of July.
these super fun t-shirts or these or these or these. If you're into sports, buy one of these shirts,
donate blood. There are still so many victims in the hospital and blood donations save lives.
4. Donate to this GoFundMe page for families of victims.
5. Contribute to the OneOrlando fund here.
6. This Crowdrise goes to funeral costs and medical bills, and this one provides direct relief for victims, the LGBQT community and organizations focused on gun safety regulations.
7. Volunteer your time. I know you're not all in a place where you can help financially, but volunteering your time is equally important. Find an LBGQT group in your area to volunteer for here.
this that honor all of the lives tragically lost instead of arguing with someone on a Facebook status about guns or whether or not the shooter was gay (it doesn't matter!).
9. Verizon customers can text the word ORLANDO to 501501 to donate $10 (straight from your phone bill) to the OneOrlando fund.
10. Host a dinner or little get together with friends and friends of friends to talk about your feelings. A friend of mine recently posted a video on FB inviting friends over to just talk about it. I remember for weeks after 9/11 our teachers gathered us into big or small groups to talk, cry, ask questions and feel safe. We're too old for that now, so let's be that support system for each other. This is not a time to argue about guns or send out hate, it's a time to talk about fear, how we can effect change, what we will do to be strong, how we can come together, how to provide extra support to the LBGQT community and why we won't live in fear. You can also just comment below so we can talk about our feelings in a private email chain (make sure you're not a no-reply blogger). I'm here for you.
I love you all. Here's to the hope that one day articles like this will no longer need to be posted.