When I first heard the news this morning, my heart sunk and it immediately took me back to the horrific morning of June 12, 2016.
I immediately called Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman to offer Orlando’s support and assistance. I let her know that we understand how they are feeling. We know what it is like to endure such a tragedy and I believe it is our unique responsibility to share our knowledge and experience. Similarly, Chief Mina and Chief Williams have reached out to their counterparts in Las Vegas.
One of the areas I suggested we could be a resource was with a family assistance center. Unfortunately, we understand the magnitude of the needs the victims and their families will have in the coming hours, days, months and years.
Orlando received such an outpouring of support following the Pulse tragedy and our residents are already asking how they can help. OneBlood Orlando has been in communication with the blood bank in Las Vegas and stands ready to assist.
A readily accessible supply of blood is critical to being able to respond to a crisis. I encourage our community to make a blood donation today, but also make it habit so blood is accessible when needed.
I also have great concern for those here locally, there is no doubt the Las Vegas tragedy will provoke emotional anguish for those here in our community that were impacted by Pulse. This may re-create the feelings many felt after June 12, 2016.
If you know a Pulse survivor or family member of those lost, check in on them and encourage them to reach out to the Orlando United Assistance Center by calling 407.500.HOPE. This number is available 24 – 7. Mental health providers are standing by and ready to assist for any urgent needs and ongoing assistance.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families.
Orlando stands united with Las Vegas and will be here to support Las Vegas over the long term.