By Selene San Felice and Tess Sheets
In light of the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, JetBlue is providing help to victims’ loved ones. The company released a statement, saying, “JetBlue is providing free seats on its available flights to/from Orlando for immediate family and domestic partners of victims who were killed or injured. Those family members and domestic partners requiring travel assistance can contact 1-800-JETBLUE for details.”
A fee waiver is in available for customers traveling to and from Orlando in need of last-minute changes to their travel plans.
JetBlue will also make a monetary contribution to support victims and their families, according to WCVB Boston News.
Orlando resident Felix Valentin is offering additional rooms in his townhouse for those traveling to assist Pulse victims and their loved ones.
“Saturday night was the first night at my first purchased home,” Valentin said in an interview with The Minaret. “So, waking up Sunday, I didn’t have the same ‘honeymoon period’ one should have under the circumstance.”
Valentin said he felt an innate obligation to help. “It is three fold: The terrorism, The LGBT community that already has to deal with more than should be required, and the fact that is was my city. So, the fact being that lives have been affected so gravely and suddenly, I would just like to help any way I can.”
Valentin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay has responded to the shooting by issuing a statement on their website, providing victims, families of loved ones involved and the LGBT communities in both Tampa and Orlando with a phone number to call for emotional and mental support.
“Given the number of people lost and injured, and the proximity of Tampa to Orlando, there is no doubt that many people from our community know someone who was at Pulse on Saturday,” said Cara Reynolds, President and CEO of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. “The Crisis Center is here for those who are impacted by this terrible tragedy. If you are in Tampa and want to connect to emotional support, please call 2-1-1. Our specialists are there 24 hours a day and stand ready to connect you to support.”
The City of Orlando has set up a hotline for family members to get information on their loved ones at 407-246-4357.
Loved ones can reunite with family members and friends at the Hampton Inn (43 Columbia St., Orlando, 32806), according to the Orlando Sun Sentinel.
Orlando Regional Medical Center visitors can check in at the North Tower (52 W. Underwood St) where identification and possible proof of relation to victims is required.
You can let family and friends around the country know that you are safe via Facebook’s Safety Check-in.
Click here for more information on vigils taking place and how to donate funds and blood to the cause.
UPDATE: A Remembrance Event will be held by UTampa Pride at 4:30 p.m. in the Vaughn Courtyard tomorrow. Email UTampa Pride Advisor Caitlyn Jones at email@example.com for more information on opportunities to speak, assist Orlando and participate.
In an email to students, the club’s advior said, “Personally I can say that I, and so many others, are hurting in immeasurable ways as our queer, trans, and Latinx siblings were targeted in a place we call home. Countless members of the campus community have been affected, so I encourage you to find your voice in checking in with those close to you.”