The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history took place at the Orlando, FL, gay nightclub Pulse early Sunday morning, killing 50 people and leaving 53 hospitalized. The majority of those in the hospital are in critical condition and many are in need of blood donations. The Orange County Fire Fighters tweeted that there is an urgent need for O negative, O positive, and AB donations, but also stated that all types are needed.
The Orlando Health hospital network sent out a tweet suggesting that if you would like to donate blood, it's more useful to go to blood banks than local hospitals. Blood banks are currently at capacity for Sunday, according to the Orlando Sentinel, but OneBlood, an organization that oversees blood banks, is encouraging people to schedule appointments for the next few days. If you are in the Orlando area and want to donate, you can visit Oneblood.org or call 1-888-9-DONATE to find out where to go.
To support victims and their communities, there are several GoFundMe campaigns you can contribute to. The Pulse Tragedy Community Fund, started by several local LGBT organizations and centers, goes toward a hotline and on-site grief counseling at The GLBT Community Center of Central Florida in Orlando. If you're a mental health professional, the center is seeking therapists to offer counseling Sunday night through Wednesday and is taking volunteers through a document shared on Facebook.
Another campaign created by the LGBT rights organization Equality Florida aims "to support the victims of the horrific shooting at Orlando's Pulse Nightclub."
To make a donation, get a ride to a blood bank, or discuss the shooting with a counselor, you can call the center's hotline at 1-407-228-1446.
The FBI is currently investigating the shooting. If you have any information, you can call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
To determine whether you know anybody affected by the shooting, use Facebook's Safety Check feature to search for them. If you know someone who may have been a victim, you can call the police hotline at 407-246-4357 or go to the Hampton Inn at 43 West Columbia Street for updates.