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Noteworthy

How Boca-Area Residents Can Help Victims, Families Of Pulse Orlando Nightclub Shooting

As Orlando—and the nation—tries to heal after Sunday’s mass shooting at Pulse nightclub, South Floridians are coming together to show their support for the victims and families affected by the violence at the LGBT-friendly establishment.

Numerous vigils were held Sunday evening in cities including Miami Beach, Wilton Manors, West Palm Beach, and Port St. Lucie, where hundreds gathered to mourn together and offer support to the LGBT community. 

“Love will conquer. We will conquer this,” Port St. Lucie Vice Mayor Linda Bartz said, according to TCPalm. “This can’t die down in two or three days. This needs to open up a conversation about so many things."

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On Monday, officials confirmed 49 people died in the attack at Pulse; at least 53 were injured. The original death toll of 50 included the gunman—identified by authorities as 29-year-old Omar Mateen—who was killed during a standoff with police. 

Blood drives around the tri-county area are helping Orlando hospitals, which nonprofit OneBlood had said was in need of O-negative, O-positive and AB plasma blood donors following the attack. 

After an outpouring of support in Orlando—where thousands lined up at blood donation centers throughout the city ready to help victims receiving care—OneBlood issued a statement Sunday afternoon saying it was at capacity.

Still, the organization is encouraging people to make appointments throughout the week in order to help replenish the supply. We've listed a few local centers below, but search by zip code and find appointment times here. (Remember, your donation can help someone in need—even if it doesn't go directly to Orlando hospitals.)  

Location: Boca Raton Donor Center
8903 Glades Road Suite 12
Boca Raton, FL 33434
Date: Monday - June 13th 2016 
Hours of Operation:
12:00 PM - 08:00 PM

Location: 1200 North Federal Highway - Bloodmobile
1200 North Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Date: Tuesday - June 14th 2016 
Hours of Operation:
11:30 AM - 04:30 PM

Location: Boca Raton Donor Center
8903 Glades Road Suite 12
Boca Raton, FL 33434
Date: Wednesday - June 15th 2016 
Hours of Operation:
09:00 AM - 03:00 PM

Location: Corporate Plaza - Bloodmobile
4710 N W 2nd Avenue
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Date: Wednesday - June 15th 2016 
Hours of Operation:
10:30 AM - 01:00 PM

Location: Stonegate Bank Plaza - Bloodmobile
301 Yamato Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Date: Wednesday - June 15th 2016 
Hours of Operation:
01:30 PM - 04:00 PM

Location: Florida Power & Light - Bloodmobile
21400 Powerline Road
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Date: Thursday - June 16th 2016 
Hours of Operation:
02:30 PM - 06:00 PM

As we continue to learn the names of the victims and their stories, here’s what else you can do to help—or where you can go to receive it: 

- Equality Florida, a civil rights organization dedicated to the LGBT community, has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the victims and their families. As of Monday afternoon, about 44,000 donors had raised $1.8 million. 

- There will be a candlelight vigil held at the Lake Worth Cultural Plaza (414 Lake Ave. Lake Worth) on Monday, June 13, at 8 p.m. Compass, a Palm Beach County LGBT advocacy group, shared details about the event on its Facebook page. 

- If you are interested in helping the city of Orlando through volunteering, donations, or any other form of assistance, please fill out a form here.

- The City of Orlando has set up a hotline for family members to check on their loved ones at 407.246.4357. 

(Image via Flickr/Fibonacci Blue)