Like everyone here in Orlando and around the world, we are heartbroken and reeling from the events in our City Beautiful. To have a tragedy of this scope and scale on our doorstep is unthinkable; to see the up-close and personal suffering of so many neighbors, first responders, and medical professionals is overwhelming.
Yet we are not without hope. Our God is a refuge in times of trouble and the gospel is a promise of future grace and eternity, no matter what happens in our every day.
We are also not without compassion. We long to help, but limited ways exist at this time per the direction of our city officials. As with all tragedies, this spotlight will fade, and longer-term needs will emerge. We are talking with responders and counselors in our church and beyond to see where we might help most over the long haul.
And mostly, we are not without conviction that the gospel is the solution to this and to all evil. Jesus Christ died and rose again to save us not only from our sin and from ourselves, but from the sin of the world around us. We believe that He alone can transform the hearts of men, and that most often, He does that through the love of His Church and the truth of His Word for all people. That is why we do what we do at Grace.
Grace will be reaching out to support families and individuals who have had their lives changed by these events, including victims and responders. If you have been personally affected by these events or you know someone who has been who needs spiritual or financial assistance, please let us know.
We’re providing the best information we have on assisting and some resources for you below — if you know other ways to help, please let us know that as well. Praying for you as we serve and love our city together,
The Pastors of Grace
A list of the victims. Please pray for these families by name.
LOCAL VOLUNTEER INFORMATION
The city is overwhelmed with volunteers; they are asking that you fill out this form and they will call you if they need help in your area of expertise.
Church on the Drive in College Park is assembling care packs for first responders and police officers, who do not often get a break. They will assemble through the week as necessary, taking the packs to the hospitals as well should they not be needed by police.
The following items are needed for the care packs:
Gallon size zip-lock bags
Individually wrapped snacks (crackers, granola bars, pretzels, etc.)
Wet Ones (individually wrapped wet wipes)
Mints or candy that does not melt
If you would like to donate items, please bring items to the Church on the Drive office on Yale Street in College Park. If you are interested in volunteering to put the care packs together, please contact Crystal Holic.
FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER
The City of Orlando has established a Family Assistance Center at Camping World Stadium to help with the practical needs of families affected by the Pulse shooting.
Orlando Counseling | Gilstrap & Associates is offering three sessions of free counseling to those affected by the tragedy.
CARE FOR PETS OF VICTIMS
If you know any of the victims who have pets, please email us. We have the number of a resource who has volunteers at the ready to provide temporary homes and foods for these animals.
BLOOD DONATION CENTERS
Blood centers are currently at capacity, but donors are urged to come in the weeks ahead when need will still be great but attention on this event will be reduced.
Orlando West Michigan Donor Center, 345 W Michigan Street, Ste. 106, Orlando, FL 32806
Orlando Main Donor Center, 8669 Commodity Circle, Orlando, FL 32819
Oviedo Donor Center, 1954 W. State Road 426, Oviedo, FL 32765
RESOURCES TO TALK TO YOUR FAMILY ABOUT TRAGEDY
Five Ways to Talk to Your Children about Death by Jeff Robinson (article)
Five Ways Christians Can Respond to the Orlando Shooting by Joe Carter (article)
Answering Your Kids Toughest Questions by Elyse Fitzpatrick (book)