Statement and Resources on the Pulse Nightclub/Orlando Shooting

This weekend, our nation witnessed the largest mass shooting in American history. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, the City of Orlando, the LGBTQ community and all who have been, and continue to be, affected by this act of hatred and terror.
The City of Orlando launched the OneOrlando Fund, which aims to help respond to the needs of the community after the Pulse nightclub tragedy. The fund will support nonprofits assisting victims and families, LGBTQ, Hispanic, faith and other affected communities, underlying causes of the event and other needs as they arise. Our peer community foundation in Orlando, The Central Florida Foundation, will be distributing funds from the OneOrlando Fund to victims and families. The Fund has raised more than $1.75 million to date and is currently accepting donations here. Other information on funds to support and resources for Orlando locals can be found here.
The pain that the City of Orlando and the LGBTQ community are going through right now is a pain that our community, in Charleston and beyond, is sadly far too familiar with. Nearly on the eve of the one-year memorial to last year’s massacre, we witness our friends and neighbors in Orlando grieving yet another attack motivated by hate, just a few hours away from Mother Emanuel AME Church.
In solidarity, local organizations are stepping up. On Monday evening, Charleston Pride hosted a vigil at the Charleston Visitor’s Center and Bus Shed, and the annual Pride Festival will take place on August 6th-14th. Tonight (Wednesday, June 15) at 5:45 p.m. at the Marriott on Lockwood Drive, Alliance for Full Acceptance will host, as part of its regular programming, a listening session on public safety with the Charleston Police Department in conjunction with the Illumination Project.
Beyond this week’s events, there are many other organizations working every day to promote safety and equity for the LGBTQ community right here in our community. Some of those include:
ACLU of SC
Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at College of Charleston
Girls Rock Charleston
SC Equality
We Are Family
Additionally, Gun Sense SC, formed in the wake of the Mother Emanuel massacre, is addressing the issue of gun violence in our local community.
Despite the hate that exists in this world, despite the attacks on all those who at some point have been “others”, we refuse to accept a reality where fear overpowers efforts to create safety, equity and justice.
Orlando, we remember you today. We wish you the strength to heal and the courage to join us in our community’s journey to ensuring such acts of terror never occur again.
Donors or community members looking for additional guidance on giving in support of the Orlando attack may contact us at (843) 723-3635.

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