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How to help those affected by the Colorado LGBTQ nightclub shooting

Mourners attend a vigil at All Souls Unitarian Church on Nov. 20. (Matthew Staver for The Washington Post)

As news of a mass shooting at a LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado traveled across the country Sunday, many were asking how to help family members of the victims and survivors, or the LGBTQ community in general. Within hours, organizers were creating fundraisers and sharing locations for blood drives.

With at least five dead and more than 25 injured in the Saturday night shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, mourners across the city put together at least 14 vigils to offer collective support. Willow Creek Wellness, a mental health service in Colorado Springs, was providing flowers, coffee and doughnuts to those attending a memorial for victims Sunday. At a vigil at the All Souls Unitarian Church, there was not enough room for everyone who wanted to participate, and organizers told attendees they will continue holding more vigils.

“Colorado stands with our LGBTQ community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said on Twitter. “I have spoken with Mayor [John] Suthers and clarified that every state resource is available to local law enforcement in Colorado Springs.”

Here are some resources for those looking to help or those who need services in the aftermath of the shooting.

Financial support

Club Q shared an official donation site to help victims of the shooting on its Facebook page Sunday afternoon. The donation site, Colorado Gives 365, supports the Colorado Healing Fund, which was created to deal with the aftermath of mass violence and provide victims with immediate and long-term support.

Greg Resha, a former employee of Club Q, is also helping to raise funds for medical and funeral expenses for the victims and families of the mass shooting. The GoFundMe page says that all funds will be donated to the Colorado Gives 365 organization.

Good Judy Garage, an LGBTQ-owned auto repair shop in the Denver area, has set a goal of $500,000 for funeral expenses, medical expenses and other expenses for families of those who were killed or injured by the gunman. “Our goal is to at least cover 5k of funeral expenses for each of the 5 victims,” the GoFundMe page reads.

Classroom of Compassion, an arts-focused nonprofit organization in Los Angeles, has also set up a GoFundMe page to collect funds and travel to Colorado Springs to set up public altars and a healing youth pop-up space to honor the victims.

All three of the GoFundMe fundraisers have been verified by the site.

Blood donations

Donations can also be made to blood banks. As of Sunday afternoon, Vitalant, a nonprofit blood donation organization, had sent 70 units of blood products to hospitals in Colorado Springs in response to “the senseless violence at Club Q,” it said on Twitter.

“Those who want to help can make an appointment to give blood in the coming days and weeks ahead to help ensure blood is available for emergencies and everyday patient needs,” the organization tweeted.

Children’s Hospital Colorado also has a blood donation center located at the Anschutz Medical campus in Aurora. It is open from Monday to Friday for blood donations.

Mental health support

Over 60 therapists have offered low-fee, sliding-scale or free sessions for those impacted by the shooting. The city of Colorado Springs shared details for contacting the therapists on its website.

From Monday to Wednesday, the Colorado Springs Police Department is hosting a resource expo to provide community members with support. Mental health resources, spiritual support, emotional support animals, child care, emergency financial resources, LGBTQ+ support, meals and other services will be provided, the police department tweeted.

El Paso County Public Health shared via Twitter that the Colorado Crisis Services hotline is available around-the-clock via phone call or text for those who need it. The public health agency also shared further mental health resources on their website.

Mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado

What we know: The suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, will be formally charged at a hearing today. Aldrich is accused of fatally shooting five people and wounding 17 others at a Colorado Springs night club last month. Records show that Aldrich changed his name at age 15, obscuring a tumultuous past.

Remembering the victims: Officials on Monday identified the five victims killed in the Colorado Springs shooting. Their names are Daniel Aston, Raymond Green Vance, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh and Derrick Rump. Here’s how to help family members of the victims and survivors of the Club Q shooting.

Stopping the shooter: An Army veteran who was at the nightclub to celebrate a friend’s birthday with his family disarmed and subdued the gunman. Here’s how the Club Q shooting unfolded.

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