Yesterday, HRC was horrified by news of the tragedy in Las Vegas, where 59 lives were lost and hundreds injured in the deadliest mass shooting in modern history.
This massacre comes just over a year since 49 people — most of them LGBTQ and Latinx — were killed in a mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, and also as Congress is considering legislation to allow silencers and transportation of concealed weapons across state lines.
While we are bound by shock and sadness, we are also committed to coming together to support those affected by this senseless violence. Here are ways to help the victims and their families:
1. Contact Your Members of Congress: Text "NO MORE" to 30644 and tell your elected representatives to support common-sense gun violence prevention policy measures and policies aimed at addressing the epidemic of hate that has often fueled anti-LGBTQ-motivated murder, assault, and discrimination.
After the shooting at Pulse, HRC endorsed common-sense gun violence prevention policy, including limiting access to assault-style rifles, expanding background checks, and limiting the ability for suspected terrorists, and those with a history of domestic abuse to access guns.
2. Donate: There are several organizations working to support the victims and their families, including the American Red Cross Southern Nevada Chapter and the National Compassion Fund.* Steve Sisolak, Clark County Commission Chair from Las Vegas, also set up a GoFundMe for victims.
According to KNTV, the American Red Cross Southern Nevada Chapter is overwhelmed with donations (such as food and water) and volunteers at this time. Material donations can be directed to Goodwill.
3. Donate Blood**: To find a donation center or Big Red Bus near you, visit http://www.oneblood.org or call 1.888.9.Donate. If you live near the Las Vegas area, you can donate blood at:
United Blood Center
6930 W Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89117
University Medical Center
901 N. Rancho Lane
Las Vegas, NV 89106
United Blood Center
601 Whitney Ranch Dr.
Henderson, NV 89014
The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada has also set up a #VegasStrong page that provides information on how to help, where to help and how to get help if in need.
*Before donating, remember to research the organization and make sure that your money is going directly to that cause. Websites like GiveWell and Charity Watch are helpful tools to find the right charity for you.
**There continues to be a ban preventing men who have sex with men from donating life-saving blood. We are committed to ending this policy, based neither in science nor medicine.