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Blood and Candles: What Tampanians Can Do For Orlando Shooting Victims

By Tess Sheets and Selene San Felice

Fifty people are dead and at least 53 are wounded from the shooting at the gay nightclub, Pulse, in Orlando on Saturday night. It is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and the worst terror attack since Sept. 11, 2001. In light of the attack, OneBlood issued a press release this morning addressing an urgent need for donations. They pushed their message out on social media, asking for O positive, O negative and AB plasma donors.

Now the blood center says they are at full capacity, but urges donors to make appointments over the next couple of days.

Rumors had been circulating that the FDA’s deferral recommendation for men who have had sex with other men in the past 12 months has been lifted. In a later press release, OneBlood addressed that these statements are false.

“There are false reports circulating that some FDA rules were being lifted regarding blood donation and this is simply not true. The blood center is mandated to follow all guidelines for blood donation at all times,” the press release stated.

The FDA’s donor deferral recommendations are in place to reduce the risk of spreading diseases transmissible by blood transfusion; however, each unit of blood undergoes a series of tests after donation regardless of the donor’s sexual identity.

To see a list of the FDA’s blood donor guidelines visit

To make an appointment or find a donation center near you, call 888-936-6283 or visit

Multiple vigils are taking place throughout the Tampa area tonight to honor those who fell victim to the Orlando attack.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for the victims and families of those who have been affected by the attack.

See below for a list of blood donation centers and vigils scheduled throughout the area.

Hillsborough County Donor Centers

Plant City Donor Center

2909 James L. Redman Pkwy, Suite 6

Plant City, FL 33566

Phone: (813) 752-7638

Fax: (813) 752-6804

Map It | Appointment

Brandon Donor Center

727 West Lumsden Rd, Suite A

Brandon, FL 33511

Phone: (813) 661-4528

Fax: (813) 651-1069

Map It | Appointment

Tampa – Fletcher Donor Center

5301 E Fletcher Ave.

Tampa, FL 33617

Phone: (813) 903-2600

Fax: (813) 903-2601

Map It | Appointment

Tampa – Dale Mabry Donor Center

15427 N Dale Mabry Hwy

Tampa, FL 33618

Phone: (813) 964-1354

Fax: (813) 964-1370

Map It | Appointment

Tampa – Kennedy Donor Center

4041 W Kennedy Blvd

Tampa, FL 33609

Phone: (813) 282-3976

Fax: (813) 282-3967

Map It | Appointment

Tampa Bay Area Vigils

  • Tampa: Curtis Hixon Park location changed to Ybor Metro Wellness & Community Center, Ybor. 1315 E 7th Ave, Tampa: 7-10 p.m. Bring candles, flashlights and lighters. Meeting at the park at 7 p.m. Group will march silently down River Walk. Bring walking shoes and water.
  • Inverness: 5-6:30 pm. Wallace Brooks Park, 328 E Dampier St., Inverness, Florida. Meet under the pavilions next to the 9/11 memorial. Family is welcome, and candles will be provided.
  • St. Pete (Grand Central District): A group of local gay bars and restaurants are holding vigils at 7 p.m. tonight. They are on the Grand Central District, 28th and Court Avenue in St. Pete.
  • St. Pete (City Hall): 8 p.m. at St. Pete City Hall steps. Address: 175 5th St. North.
  • St. Pete: 95.1 JAMS VIGIL; 9 p.m. – midnight. Location: 3621 Central Avenue.
  • Gulfport: Gulfport Candlelight Vigil at the Gulfport Library at 8 p.m., south end of library by the flag poles.

List courtesy of Bay News 9

UPDATE:  Another vigil will be held Monday, June 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the parking lot across from Southern Nights TAMPA  (1430 E. 7th Ave.) Candles will be provided by the GaYbor Coalition. More information Here.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Free Flights, Housing and Hotlines: More Ways to Help Pulse Victims and their Loved Ones – The Minaret Online

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