In the wake of the tragic mass shooting in Orlando, Florida on June 12, many may be wondering how to help the victims. If you're in the Central Florida area, one way to do so is to determine your blood type and head to a donation center. Both fortunately and unfortunately, the Orlando Sentinel has reported that blood banks are at capacity in the Orlando area, but donors have been urged to come back in a few days time. In the interim, figuring out your blood type is a seamless way to show your support for the victims.
With 50 casualties confirmed and over 50 people injured, the events that transpired at gay nightclub PULSE mark the deadliest mass shooting in American history to date. While it has yet to be confirmed whether this was a hate crime, officials have deemed the shooting an act of domestic terrorism. However, given that the events took place at a gay club, on Latino night, it undoubtedly feels like both. It's easy to feel helpless when such tragedies unfold; when hatred and discrimination and violence against minority and marginalized communities are so prevalent and heartbreaking. But donating blood is one way to give back, and to help those who've been left picking up the pieces of the horrors. If you're in Central Florida, here are some ways to find out your blood type.
1. Purchase An At-Home Blood Type Kit
Eldoncard Blood Type Test, $6.35, amazon.com
Since blood banks are likely going to be at full capacity for a few days, purchasing an at-home blood type test kit is an easy and quick way to determine your blood type. Amazon offers a myriad of options, many under its overnight or two-day shipping policy. You can also visit your local drugstores, including Walgreens or Rite Aid, since some locations carry kits in-store.
2. Call Your Primary Care Physician
Oftentimes, primary care physicians will keep a record of your blood type on file. In the event that they do not, you might want to ask about getting a blood test done at their office and request the soonest appointment available.
3. Talk To OneBlood
OneBlood, described on its site as being "a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) community asset responsible for providing safe, available, and affordable blood," also offers blood type testing on site. The Orlando location is at 8669 Commodity Circle; Orlando, Florida 32819.
However, given that the center is undoubtedly backlogged in the wake of the shooting, you might want to try calling first to see if they can schedule you in for an appointment. You can reach them at (407) 248-5009, but do keep in mind that donation centers are swamped for the time being.
Although feeling helpless and defeated in the aftermath of such hateful crimes can sometimes be inevitable, there are ways to help. We must do our best not to forget as much.
Image: OneBlood (1)