When something as horrible as what occurred in Orlando — where a mass shooting left 50 people dead, with 50 more injured — happens, we all have a tendency to stare at the screens of our respective media devices with shock and a desire to help in some way. We want to say something, to do something, anything to provide support and assistance. Yet unfortunately, sometimes there isn't actually much a person is able to do if they don't live by the scene of the crime or have political influence. But if you live in central Florida, there is one thing you can do to help victims of the Orlando attack, and that is to donate blood. Update: The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that OneBlood is overwhelmed with people wanting to donate, and is asking donors to make an appointment and return in the coming days.
Earlier: The Orlando Sentinel reports that OneBlood is in needs of donors who are healthy, age 16 or older, and weigh at least 100 pounds. There is a specific and urgent need for various blood types including O Negative, O Positive, and AB Plasma. OneBlood's website has been experiencing issues on Sunday morning (which actually bodes well, as it could mean that a lot of people are attempting to sign up to donate blood) so it may not be the best place to go, at the moment, for directing potential donors to the nearest donation center and appointments. However, social media users have used their platform to share the locations of blood donation centers all around the Orlando area.
If you are located in the Central Florida area, now is the perfect time to join the queue and do what you can to support the victims of what is the largest mass shooting in the history of the United States. It's heartening to see that, as another Twitter user shared, lines to donate blood are apparently out the door, and so many people seem interested in showing their support through this method.
But though lines are long today, medical personnel will still need blood tomorrow and the next days for the many victims of this shooting. If you're in Central Florida and are able to donate, please do — it really is an easy way to give aid to people who so desperately need it. To find a donation center or a Big Red Bus near you, visit oneblood.org or call 1-888-936-6283.