The survivors of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando have released this video to say "thank you" for the incredible outpouring of support from around the world in the aftermath of the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States.
In addition to the messages and prayers sent their way, over $9 million has been raised via Equality Florida to help pay for the medical and psychological needs of the survivors and their families.
Those funds will begin to be distributed tomorrow.
From LGBTQ Nation:
The money raised by more than 120,000 donors from over 120 countries will be distributed starting Tuesday, said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida. She noted 100 percent of the “funds will go to the survivors of those killed and those who were victims, whether they were physically injured or emotionally traumatized,” Smith tells LGBTQ Nation in an email.
Smith said her organization isn’t keeping any money for overhead or fees and that even the interest earned on the funds in the bank will be donated. Equality Florida is also absorbing more than $150,000 in staff time and management of the fundraising campaign.
“Checks are being cut directly to victims to spend according to their own needs which will vary a great deal. We know people lost income, some lost their jobs. Those with serious physical injuries will need to modify their homes and prepare for long-term care. All will need help dealing with the trauma. The decision on how best to spend it is entirely up to each person.”
“Equality Florida made two promises in the aftermath of Pulse,” Smith said in a statement. “The first was to do everything we could to take care of the survivors and the families left behind by this heinous act of hate. Today we’ve kept that first promise. Now our attention must focus entirely on fulfilling the second promise – to honor our dead with action.”
In addition to the video, Equality Florida has launched a new campaign, the Honor Them With Action fund, to ensure public work on behalf of the LGBTQ community and to reduce gun violence continues.