Can I Donate To Parkland Students? Their Gun Control Advocacy's Taking The Nation By Storm
Never Again. That's the name that Parkland, Florida shooting survivors have chosen for their movement. "Never again" is their rallying call to change gun laws and put a stop to the heartbreaking familiarity of mass shootings in the United States. They might not be old enough to vote yet, but in the wake of tragedy, these teenagers are standing up for what they believe in. If you want to support Parkland students and their gun control advocacy, donate to their causes. This could be the rare time when a mass shooting results in legislative change.
On Feb. 14, students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had the gut-wrenching horror of seeing their fellow students and faculty members gunned down by a 19-year-old former student, armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. The killing spree was the eighth mass shooting in 2018 that resulted in death — 17 people died in the attack, and numerous others have been hospitalized with gunshot wounds.
When it comes to mass shootings, we remember the most publicized ones. Aurora. Newtown. Orlando. Sutherland Springs. Las Vegas — the deadliest shooting in recent U.S. history; now we have Parkland. But the sad reality is the United States has more mass shootings than any other country in the world. Since 2000, there have been school shootings in 43 out of 50 states, according to The Washington Post.
And Parkland students have had enough — "We are sick of the Florida lawmakers choosing money from the NRA over our safety," reads the mission statement for the Never Again Facebook page.
Here are a few ways you can donate to Parkland students, their grieving community, and policy change.
March For Our Lives
Spearheaded by 17-year-old junior Cameron Kasky and some of his fellow classmates, March for Our Lives will take the protest to the nation's capital. Florida school shooting survivors and their allies plan to march on Washington to demand changes in gun control policy. Donations will go toward facilitating the event and any leftover money will be given to the victims' funds. Celebrities, including George and Amal Clooney, Stephen Spielberg, and Oprah Winfrey, have already promised $500,000 donations to the Parkland students' march.
"People are saying that it's not time to talk about gun control, and we can respect that," said Kasky on ABC News. "Here's a time: March 24, in every single city. We are going to be marching together as students begging for our lives."
Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund
The Broward County Public Schools district is raising money to provide relief and financial support to the Florida school shooting victims and their families. GoFundMe has no platform fee, so 100 percent of the funds collected will go directly to the Broward Education Foundation.
The victims' expenses may include funeral arrangements, grief counseling, and hospital fees. The Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel tweeted that 15-year-old Anthony Borges, one of the survivors, was shot five times. While he's fortunately recovering, he will need more surgeries, Israel said in his tweet.
Lutheran Church Charities
You can also donate money to the care and travel expenses of Lutheran Church Charities' K-9 team. The church organization brings specially trained comfort dogs to mass shooting victims. The golden retrievers traveled to Orlando, Las Vegas, and now Parkland in the aftermath of violent events.
Candidates Who Vote In Favor Of Gun Control Legislation
Preventing future mass shootings, or at least the regularity of mass shootings every day in the United States, could come down to improvements in gun control legislation.
With upcoming elections in mind, you can donate to politicians who are vocal about gun policy changes. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) has a tight reelection race coming up, possibly against current Florida Gov. Rick Scott, an NRA favorite.
NPR has a state-by-state chart that shows how your members of Congress have voted on gun bills, color coded by whether they wanted to add gun restrictions or loosen gun restrictions. You can also check which lawmakers have been the biggest financial beneficiaries of the NRA.
To stay updated on the Parkland students' upcoming activities, follow the #NeverAgain Twitter account.