All of us who care about, and support, personal liberties are one family in mourning – and in strength – today. While yesterday was a horrific day in the history of the city of Orlando, and the USA, it will not define our long-term stand to live free. Please join us as we reach out to extend our hearts and hands in support to families who lost loved ones.
Orlando’s Mayor Buddy Dyer stated, “we will not be defined by the act of a cowardly hater, we will be defined by how we respond.” The Act-1Group is grateful to our police and first responders. Orlando is a big city, but a small family. My two recent visits reminded me of the hospitality that all who visit receive from all who live in Orlando. When you visit Orlando, you are made to feel at home. During this painful time, we are together as neighbors and family to support safety and healing.
For all who want to help our victims and families suffering from the effects of the shooting in Orlando, here are some things you can do:
- If you live in downtown Orlando, and can do so, stay home. Help the police and medical professionals get to where they need to go by staying off of the roads as much as you can these next couple of days.
- If you are in a position to help financially, be careful to vet the organization(s) you donate to. Unfortunately, there are some who will take advantage of this time to fraudulently accept donations. We have been told that Equality Florida, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, has created a Pulse Victims Fundto help the victims and their families. As well, the Red Cross, churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship can guide you on how to assist.
- If you live in the Greater Orlando area and are able to, you may also donate blood closer to the middle-end of the week. Blood banks are currently at capacity, but are in short supply of types O negative, O positive, and AB plasma.
- Encourage a friend or family member you know who needs emotional support to seek grief counseling. There are also crisis hotlines: Heart of FloridaUnited Way at 2-1-1, and the Victim Service Center of Central Florida at 407-497-6701.
- Pass this information on: The City of Orlando has set up a hotline for family members to check on their loved ones at 407-246-4357.
- Pass this information on: Family members also can go to the Hampton Inn & Suitesat 43 Columbia St., Orlando, 32806, to be reunited with loved ones. Please remember that a kind word, thought or act during times of grief equates to a large measure of support. We express our support to our own Orlando team, and to all who are working through this. Losses of loved ones will never be regained, but we can express our humanity and care toward a better tomorrow for all.
Today, at 12:00 noon pacific time, the Howroyds will take a two-minute moment of silence in memoriam. You are welcome to join us from wherever you may be.