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Give Blood, Volunteer, Donate Money: How to Help After Orlando Massacre

Organizations have created funds to help the Pulse nightclub victims and their families

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    The Washington Post/Getty Images
    Volunteers work at OneBlood, a blood bank in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016.

    With Orlando in mourning after the massacre at the Pulse nightclub, many groups are organizing ways to help. Forty-nine people died and dozens were injured when 29-year-old Omar Mateen opened fire in the gay club early Sunday morning. From giving blood to donating money, here are some ways to assist the victims, their families and the city -- plus links to counseling and other services.

    The Pulse Employee Recovery Fund: Created by the owner of Pulse, Barbara Poma, the fund will help traumatized employees with their daily needs while they are out of work and recovering from the shooting. It will operate through a PayPal system. "We have only begun the grieving process, and we need to heal," Poma said. 

    Orlando Survivor: 'Was It Supposed to Be Me?'

    [NATL] Orlando Survivor: 'Was It Supposed to Be Me?'
    Demetrice Naulings decided to flee a bathroom at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, and lived. His best friend, Eddie Justice, got left behind, and died. Through tears, Naulings talks about that night. "My friend wasn't supposed to die in the bathroom on the floor," Naulings said. (Published Wednesday, June 15, 2016)

    OneOrlando Fund: The city created the fund to support nonprofits helping the victims and their families; assist the Hispanic and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, and others affected by the tragedy; and to address its causes, Mayor Buddy Dyer announced. 

    Equality Florida: The state's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group has created a GoFundMe campaign for the victims. More than $4 million had been raised as of Wednesday toward a goal of $5 million. GoFundMe contributed $100,000 toward the campaign. The money will be distributed with the help of the city of Orlando, local groups and the National Center for Victims of Crime, Equality Florida says on the page. On its website, it offers links to counseling services, legal help and other assistance.

    OneBlood: After a tremendous response by blood donors, the blood center is urging other people who want to donate to make an appointment. Call 1-888-9-Donate or visit OneBlood.  

    The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Central Florida: It also has created a GoFundMe account, which has raised more than $350,000 toward a goal of $500,000. It is looking for volunteers and is working with other LGBT organizations throughout central Florida to provide an emergency hotline and crisis counseling.

    Orlando Survivor: 'I Regret Having the Second Chance'

    [NATL] 'I Regret Having the Second Chance': Orlando Survivor Burdened by Guilt
    Luis Burbano felt his bones shake when bullets started flying early Sunday at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. At first, he thought it was part of the music. Burbano, who rushed to the aid of the injured, is now unable to sleep and struggling to understand why he was spared. (Published Tuesday, June 14, 2016)

    Muslims United For Victims of the Pulse Shooting: The group has created a fund on LaunchGood for the immediate, short-term needs of the families. "We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action," the group says on the website. The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations will give the money raised to the OneOrlando fund.

    The National Compassion Fund: Developed by the National Center for Victims of Crime, it is raising money for the immediate and long-term emotional and physical needs of the victims and their families. It says it is working with Equality Florida to combine efforts and ensure that donations are distributed fairly and transparently.

    The Federal Trade Commission offers donors a list of tips to avoid scams trying to take advantage of the tragedy.