Orlando Pulse Shooting Victim Crowdfunding Campaign at $4.1 Million and Rising

By Aaron Brophy 6/15/16 | www.samaritanmag.com

Pulse nightclub logo — photo credit: Pulse Facebook page
A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to support the Orlando Pulse shooting victims and families has raised more than $4,190,000 (USD) from more than 90,700 donors since it was launched three days ago.

On June 12, lone gunman Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people and injured 53 at a gay club Pulse in Orlando, Florida. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The campaign, which is the largest ever on GoFundMe, was set up by Equality Florida, the largest civil rights organization in Florida dedicated to securing full equality for the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. In a message posted in the campaign Equality Florida says it's goal is to ensure the money gets to the victims as fast as possible.

"We are beyond moved by the support from all corners of the world and all walks of life," Equality Florida wrote in an update on the GoFundMe page on June 14. "From average Americans, large corporations, celebrities, musicians, artists, and political figures, over 65,000 donations have been made towards Equality Florida's Pulse Victim Fund, totaling to $2.8 million dollars. We do not know the total costs for the victims of this horrific hate crime, therefore are working to raise as much as possible and disperse the funds as fast as possible.

"We would like to inform all supporters that GoFundMe has contributed $100,000 towards this campaign, essentially waiving their transaction fee and ensuring the every single penny donated will go towards supporting the victims and their families. We are so grateful for all of the support the Go Fund Me team has provided."

Equality Florida originally set a fundraising goal of $100,000 which was quickly surpassed and the organization has now set a new target at $5 million.

The comment section of the page also includes testimonials from a number of people who say they were at Pulse during the shooting or were personally affected by the horrible crime.

"I am a survivor, I would like to thank everyone for all contributions," posted a user named Dan Atlas. "Such a sad day, as a surviver I will do everything and anything to help anyone involved. What happend in there is extremely hard to explain... the magnitude of loss in a horrid scene . Thank you and God bless."

Although it's unclear exactly how these funds will be spent, some will possibly go towards expenses like funerals for victims.

Wrote Lakitra Justice: "My brother was one of the victims that lousy his life in this horrific tragedy..... He didn't have life insurance and we are trying to find a way to pay for his funeral service... Please if any one will help my family out in any way with information or whatever they can donate... His name was Eddie Justice... thank you!"

The reach of the campaign appears to be worldwide.

"From France - We are standing with you Orlando ! We are shocked and we are sharing your pain," wrote Alan Consonne. "Our thoughts to the victims family ! No words can describe how painful this must be : we all are mourning with you ! We are sending you all the strengh we can from Europe. With love love love, A french citizen."

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* Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.