How to Help After a Mass Shooting

It is a heart wrenching misfortune when a mass shooting occurs, no matter where it occurs. It’s not a matter of whether or not an individual is directly affected by the events that transpire, it’s completely tragic and traumatic from any angle it is looked at. The rippling effects left behind after the mistake of an attacker are felt for years, and wounds are not easily healed — but there are things that can be done to soften the hurt left in the wake of a shooting.

Due to the horrific events that transpired during the Pulse shooting in Orlando, in honor of the victims, their families and friends, and the individuals who have helped repair the damaging effects of one man’s mistake, we have compiled a list on how those interested in helping can consider helping in the future — should tragedy strike again.

Donate Blood or Plasma

After a mass shooting there will likely be many people in need of blood or plasma. Neighboring hospitals or emergency centers may not have a full supply at the time of the attacks and therefore be undersupplied. However, supplies dwindle quickly anyways for certain blood types which are more valuable than others — like Type O, or Type AB. These types are always in high demand because Type O blood can be given to any of the other blood types, and Type AB can only be given to and be received by Type AB.

If you live near a place that suffered a mass shooting, especially if you have one of these valuable blood types, please consider donating some blood or plasma to potentially save a life.

Volunteer Your Time

If you live nearby, it’s a good idea to consider checking out which places need the most help.

Calling ahead of time and asking before simply showing up on the scene might be more helpful to avoid congesting the area, too.

Places to consider calling would be local police departments, fire departments, hospitals, and charities like the Red Cross to see where there is the most need, and whether or not you are capable of filling that need.

Donate to Appropriate Charities

Research is important for those who truly want to help. When something as horrific as a mass shooting occurs, it behooves the individual to figure out which charity is the most involved and doing the most amount of relief work. Once that is squared away, it’s up to the individual to decide how much they are able to donate and do so — trusting that their money is going where it needs to go and doing what it needs to do.

Support Loved Ones Left Behind

Likely the least thought of item on this list is supporting the loves ones left behind by the dearly departed victims. Something as simple as a small funeral can cost thousands of dollars that families can be utterly blindsided by, not expecting their loved one to die so suddenly.  This is where the love and support of many can be fully utilized. Donations to charities supporting the families, or directly donating to families individual funding pages for funeral costs or medical bills can give an immense sense of relief to families already overwhelmed with grief.

Another way to show these families your support can be through letters, flowers, or even vigils. Attending funerals you know will be near you is also something to consider — however, the grieving families’ space should be considered, and therefore consulted first before assuming anything beyond what is specifically asked for.

Tragedy is difficult to avoid, but kindness and humanity despite tragedy are not.

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