A GoFundMe for the victims of the Orlando night club shooting on Saturday night has already far surpassed the original goal of $100,000 since it was started less than 12 hours ago. Equality Florida, the orchestrator of the fundraising campaign, is the largest LGBT civil rights organization in Florida and is hoping to raise money for the families of the 50 killed in the attack as well as the 53 people who were injured and are still fighting for their lives. After blowing past the original goal of 100k, the initiative has now hit $600k and the total amount raised is increasing as we write.
The domestic terror attack early Sunday morning at the Orlando gay club Pulse ended with dozens dead and even more injured after a hostage situation that dragged on for more than three hours. As reflected in the official Equality Florida statement on the fundraising page, the attack was not only a tragic event in which many people lost their lives but a violent invasion of safe spaces for the gay community. The gunman was killed during the attack, and police are still investigating and processing his motivations and ties to any larger movements.
The full statement from Equality Florida is as such:
We are reeling from the tragic news that a gunman opened fire on the 2am capacity crowd at Pulse leaving 50 people dead and over 50 injured according to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.
We are heartbroken and angry that senseless violence has once again destroyed lives in our state and in our country.
Gay clubs hold a significant place in LGBTQ history. They were often the only safe gathering place and this horrific act strikes directly at our sense of safety. June commemorates our community standing up to anti-LGBTQ violence at the Stonewall Inn, the nightclub that has become the first LGBTQ site recognized as a national monument.
We have received a steady stream of emails and messages from those seeking to help or to make sense of the senseless. We make no assumptions on motive. We will await the details in tears of sadness and anger. We stand in solidarity and keep our thoughts on all whose lives have been lost or altered forever in this tragedy.
The funds will be distributed appropriately to the victims and their families in the coming weeks in coordination with local organizations. This shooting is now the deadliest mass shooting in US history, and the need for support cannot be overestimated. Whether that comes in the form of donating blood, contributing funds, or another method, any help is of the utmost necessity in the immediate aftermath of the massacre. Equality Florida’s fundraising page is just one example of the many organizations soliciting donations to support the victims.