Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS announced June 16 that it will donate $150,000 in three $50,000 grants in the name of the Broadway community to three organizations providing emergency assistance to the victims of the June 12 Pulse nightclub mass shootings in Orlando, FL, and their families and friends.
The emergency funds will be used to help victims and their families with medical costs, emergency expenses and funeral arrangements, in addition to long-term crisis management and support.
In order to assure that funds would reach those in need, BC/EFA carefully vetted each organization. “By partnering with these credible, established entities within the Orlando community, we can be confident that funds raised by the Broadway community will deliver meaningful, immediate and long-lasting help,” BC/EFA executive director Tom Viola said in a statement.
This isn’t the only work BC/EFA is doing in Florida. In 2015 BC/EFA also donated $218,500 to 23 HIV/AIDS and family service organizations across the state.
Viola added, “Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS historically has moved quickly and responsibly on behalf of the New York theatre community to assist those affected by extraordinary, traumatic events. We stand with our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community in Orlando and indeed with all who suffer from the violence that comes with inflamed rhetoric, toxic misconceptions of each other and subtle promotion of hatred. Let us respond with love and real resources.”
Here’s a look at the work these organizations are doing for the community:
Equality Florida, the largest LGBT civil rights organization in the state, will manage and distribute funds being raised through its Pulse Victims Fund campaign at gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund, which has already raised over $5,140,008. BC/EFA’s donation to Equality Florida will cover operational costs and oversight to ensure that the funds raised by the GoFundMe account are distributed efficiently.
The GLBT Center of Central Florida is the heart of the operation, offering crisis counseling, emergency hotlines and on-the-ground services to the families affected by the tragedy.
“We have been running 24 hours a day since Sunday to make sure the families of the victims of this senseless crime are taken care of,” said GLBT Center executive director Terry De Carlo. “From housing, meals and clothing, to flights to get family members here and caskets shipped home, these families have been devastated and face terrific challenges on top of shock and great sorrow. This grant is a blessing and allows us to respond to them now and for weeks to come. The Broadway community will be forever in our hearts.”
The OneOrlando Fund (oneorlando.org) was set up by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer in the days after the shooting. Funds will support short-term and long-term needs within the community, as well as provide financial assistance to non-profit organizations dedicated to supporting the victims and families.