Feeling Helpless? Here Are 9 Ways to Take Action After Orlando
1. Donate blood.
Photos of Florida residents lining up to donate their blood to victims was one of the few hopeful images to come out of this emergency thus far. Orlando blood banks have reported they are currently at capacity, but you can still donate in your area by checking locations with the American Red Cross. http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood
2. Read about the victims.
The city of Orlando released the list of their names yesterday, and the Orlando Sentinel has begun compiling details about their lives. We know already that one was an employee at Harry Potter World, as J.K. Rowling has already tweeted her condolences.
3. Reach out to an LGBT person in your life.
We know so far that the assailant was motivated by homophobia, and chose to murder gay people at a night club known for its gay clientele during a weekend dedicated to celebrating gay pride. The violence is a reminder that homophobia is as current and real and dangerous as it's ever been. Your LGBT friends may appreciate the support.
4. Volunteer for an LGBT organization.
There are hundreds of support groups, homes and centers for LGBT people in the United States, and now is a great moment to offer up your time or money to keep them running. CenterLink has a list of local groups and you can find information about helping the Orlando community specifically here.
5. HUG YOUR LOVED ONES
Text your friends and remind them why they're amazing, or call your mother and tell her you love her. Physically hold onto your family members and give thanks that they're still with you.
6. Contact your legislators.
If you'd like to see some change, reach out to the people whom you've elected for this purpose. The nonprofit Everytown has a special feature on its website to draft a tweet to your specific Congressperson
7. Sign a petition.
This petition to reinstitute the federal ban on assault rifles is just a few signatures away from its goal. http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/ban-assault-weapons
8. Speak to your children.
If this event has been upsetting to you, just imagine how your children might feel.
9. Register to vote.
The 2016 presidential election has never seemed more important than it does now. Make sure you can vote in November by registering.
"If you have the heart to mourn people when they die have the heart to accept them while they're alive." - Justin Forrest Miles