The June 12 nightclub attack in Orlando, Florida was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Our hearts are filled with sorrow, and our thoughts are with the victims, survivors and families in Orlando. We are touched by the calls we have received from members and partners wanting to know how to help. Florida Philanthropy Network, Philanthropy Northwest's peer organization based in Tampa, has shared this message in the wake of the tragedy:
We are horrified and heartbroken over yesterday’s tragedy in Orlando. In the early morning hours, a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub, leaving 50 individuals dead and more than 50 injured. Our hearts are with our fellow Floridians and the LGBTQ community, their families and friends reeling from this senseless act of terror and the tragic loss of innocent lives.
As flags fly at half-staff today, let us recognize that they still wave proudly and stand for peace, understanding and acceptance. The response from our brothers and sisters across Florida and the country has been remarkable. Residents have appeared in thousands to donate their time and blood to those in need, not only in Orlando but throughout the state. Our fellow regional associations and funders stand ready to offer assistance and support.
For some of us, it can feel overwhelming on where and how to lend a hand. Monetary donations are fast, flexible and effective ways to make a direct impact during Orlando’s time of need. You and your organization can be part of an effort to provide immediate and long-term assistance to the victims of tragedy, as well the broader community. As Florida nonprofits and philanthropic organizations address the short-term and long-term needs of the community, you can join them in the following ways:
Central Florida Foundation will be sharing updates in the next few days on how you can help now and in the weeks and months to come. FPN will release more details as they become available and you can monitor up-to-date developments at their website, http://cffound.org.
Our Fund Foundation, a community foundation whose mission is to support South Florida’s LGBTQ agencies, is collecting tax-deductible donations. 100% of the tax-deductible funds raised through Our Fund will be donated to the nonprofits in Orlando supporting survivors and victims' families and friends and their efforts to restore peace, joy and wellness to Orlando's LGBTQ community. To make a tax-deductible donation through Our Fund, visit https://app.etapestry.com/onlineforms/OurFund/Orlando.html
Governor Rick Scott announced the activation of the Florida Disaster Fund following yesterday’s terror attack in Orlando. The Florida Disaster Fund will help provide financial support to organizations that serve survivors, their families, and all those in need. To make a contribution, please visit http://www.FloridaDisasterFund.org.
Equality Florida has set up a GoFundMe page to support the victims and families affected by the shooting. You can donate to the Pulse Victims Fund online at https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund. The state’s LGBT civil rights organization is working with a team of attorneys and national experts to ensure the funds are distributed correctly.
For information on blood donations, counseling services and vigils throughout Florida, visit http://www.eqfl.org/news/pulse.
The City of Orlando is also coordinating volunteers and donations for those located in Central Florida. You can fill out an online form, and someone will contact you regarding services and donation needs.
As more information emerges, you can follow these Twitter accounts for ways to help:
Together we can support the victims and their families and loved ones while we continue working to build a better Florida — one fueled by respect and unity.
Thank you all for your thoughts, concerns and kind words,
Stacy Carlson, Ph.D.
President & CEO, Florida Philanthropic Network