In 12 days since the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando that claimed the lives of 49 people — nearly all LGBTQ and Hispanic — Equality Florida Institute has helped raise more than $6 million for a victims fund.
On Friday, GoFundMe released a YouTube video paying tribute to the nearly 115,000 people worldwide who have contributed to the fund. The video, A Message of Love and Hope for Orlando, features messages from some of the contributors.
“In the wake of the horrific tragedy at the Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016, more than 100,000 donors from 120 countries stood with the victims and their families. Here are their messages of love, hope, and solidarity for Orlando and the LGBT community,” reads the video caption.
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Equality Florida, the state’s largest LGBT rights group, began the fund a few hours after the shooting. The original goal: $100,000. In a half-day, more than $750,000 was raised and the goal increased to $1 million. Ultimately, the goal has reached $7 million.
“In working with our partners at the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), we are expediting the process of fund disbursement to ensure there is no gap in the safety net for these families,” according to an Equality Florida news release on Friday. “We expect funds to be dispersed as quickly as eight weeks via the NCVC's National Compassion Fund.”
From the National Compassion Fund website:
“100% of the funds received through the Compassion Fund are distributed directly to victims. Donations to the National Compassion Fund are held separately from general donations to the National Center for Victims of Crime. The Compassion Fund is working closely with Equality Florida, the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization to combine efforts and ensure fair and transparent distribution of the donations received.”
Read the complete Equality Florida news release:
Equality Florida's fundraising efforts for the victims' families and survivors of thePulse Nightclub Shooting have raised over $6 million, the vast majority from a GoFundMe campaign that has drawn more than 114,000 contributors from across the world and all facets of society; as well as pledges from corporate sponsors and grassroots fundraising efforts locally and globally.
We applaud Orlando’s victim service center and community partners for meeting immediate emergency needs for the victims' families and survivors. In working with our partners at the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), we are expediting the process of fund disbursement to ensure there is no gap in the safety net for these families. We expect funds to be dispersed as quickly as eight weeks via the NCVC's National Compassion Fund.
It is imperative that all victims' families and survivors call NCVC's Victim Hotline or visit VictimConnect.org, so that victims’ families and survivors have access to these critical financial resources. The NCVC will work with partners to quickly verify their identity, identify their expenses, and process disbursements. Undocumented victims’ families and survivors qualify for these financial resources, and as victims of crime, are protected.
In a world where marriage equality only recently became a possibility, and domestic partnership is not widely available, it is our top priority to ensure we address the unique needs of the LGBTQ and Latino/a communities impacted from the Pulse Nightclub Shooting.
We are humbled that our efforts have been endorsed by more than 100 past victims of gun violence who know better than anyone how desperately these resources are needed.
The distribution of funds to the victims and families of mass casualty crimes, including shootings and terrorist attacks, requires the highest level of transparency, complete accountability and closely managed stages of distribution. Please visit this link for an in-depth description of our plan to do exactly that: http://www.eqfl.org/transparent
Please share the contact information for victim’s families and survivors including those who escaped physical injury but not the trauma of this brutal attack.
To donate to the Pulse Victims Fund, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund
Corporations or institutional donors seeking to make a tax-deductible contribution, contact David Costa, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 813-817-6093.