By now surely everyone reading this post is aware of the horrific events which took place at Pulse, an Orlando nightclub and a key fixture in the Central Florida LGBTQIA community, on Sunday morning. At least 50 people are dead and more than 50 others are wounded following a mass shooting, the worst in this country's history. You can find all of the Orlando Sentinel's coverage of the story here.
This blog's focus is the Orlando Magic, but in light of this tragedy I want to widen our scope to the broader Orlando community. Here are a few organizations you might consider supporting.
The Center aims to "promote and empower the GLBT Community and its allies through information, education, advocacy and support." It has set up a crisis hotline at 407-228-1446. After calling, press 1, and then press 1 again, to be connected to an operator. You can also donate to The Center here, and directly to its crisis fund here.
Zebra Coalition states its mission "is to foster hope, dignity and self-respect in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all youth (LGBT+) and to provide them an opportunity to grow up in a safe, healthy and supportive environment." You can donate to it here. Like The Center, it has also established a crisis hotline. The number to call is 407-822-5036.
OneBlood, a local blood bank, is at capacity. It is encouraging would-be blood donors to return within a few days, or to make an appointment to donate by visiting this website or calling 1-888-9DONATE.
Orlando Youth Alliance focuses on providing "a non-exploitative, safe, drug and alcohol free, social outlet for youth ages 13 to 24 who are grappling with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning issues." You can donate to it here.
Finally, the City of Orlando has made this post to list the names of the victims who died Sunday. Far too often we as a people overlook the ones who lost their lives in these tragedies, as we try to process our own grief, or assign blame, or otherwise get caught up in finding out what happened. I ask that you do not forget the victims, their families, and their loved ones.
Thank you for reading.