Jupiter residents looking to show their support for the victims and families affected by the Orlando nightclub shooting can make blood donations at the local blood center or find a Bloodmobile.
As Orlando—and the nation—tries to heal after Sunday’s mass shooting at Pulse nightclub, South Floridians are coming together to show their support for the victims and families affected by the violence at the LGBT-friendly establishment. Numerous vigils were held Sunday evening in cities including Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Wilton Manors, Miami Beach and Port St. Lucie, where hundreds gathered to mourn together and offer support to the LGBT community.
“Love will conquer. We will conquer this,” Port St. Lucie Vice Mayor Linda Bartz said, according to TCPalm. “This can’t die down in two or three days. This needs to open up a conversation about so many things.”
Equality Florida, a civil rights organization dedicated to the LGBT community, has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the victims and their families. As of Monday afternoon, about 48,000 donors had raised more than $2 million.
In addition to monetary donations, blood drives around the tri-county area are helping Orlando hospitals, which nonprofit OneBlood had said was in need of O-negative, O-positive and AB plasma blood donors following the attack.
After an outpouring of support in Orlando—where thousands lined up at blood donation centers throughout the city ready to help victims receiving care—OneBlood issued a statement Sunday afternoon saying it was at capacity. Still, the organization is encouraging people to make appointments throughout the week in order to help replenish the supply. (Click here to read about donor eligibility.)
On Monday, officials confirmed 49 people died in the attack at Pulse; at least 53 were injured. The original death toll of 50 included the gunman—identified by authorities as 29-year-old Omar Mateen—who was killed during a standoff with police.
In an address to the nation Sunday, President Barack Obama called the suspect’s actions both “an act of terror and an act of hate.”
Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma offered her condolences to the victims’ families on the venue’s website:
Like everyone in the country, I am devastated about the horrific events that have taken place today. Pulse, and the men and women who work there, have been my family for nearly 15 years. From the beginning, Pulse has served as a place of love and acceptance for the LGBTQ community. I want to express my profound sadness and condolences to all who have lost loved ones. Please know that my grief and heart are with you.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has requested an emergency declaration from Obama so that “‘the full resources of the federal government’ can be made available for the individuals, families, and communities impacted by this ‘horrific massacre.’”
As we continue to learn the names of the victims and their stories, here’s what you can do to help:
Make a blood donation at the local center:
Jupiter Donor Center
Concourse Village Shopping Center
75 E Indiantown Road, Ste. 505, Jupiter
Hours of Operation:
Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Find the Bloodmobile in these locations over the next week:
Winn Dixie – Gardens Park Plaza
8924 N. Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens
June 15, 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
North County Government Center
3188 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens
June 16, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave., Palm Beach Gardens
June 18, 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Gold’s Gym – Donald Ross Village
4540 Donald Ross Rd., Palm Beach Gardens
June 20, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
To find a blood bank near you and schedule an appointment, head to oneblood.org/donate-now/ or call 1.888.9DONATE. Those interested in hosting their own blood drive can fill out a request form here.
(Image via Flickr/Fibonacci Blue)