As with most terrible tragedies, there is a tremendous outpouring of support by Americans and a great desire to help the victims and their families. To assist Rhode Islanders who want to make a donation to the victims and the families impacted by the Pulse Nightclub shooting, Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin offers recommendations of legitimate charities that have been established to assist the victims and their families.
Equality Florida, the state's largest LGBT advocacy group, has established a GoFundMe page to accept online donations for the Pulse Victim Fund, and states that every penny will be distributed directly to victims and their families. In addition, Equality Florida is working with the National Center for Victims of Crime, which deployed funds in both the Chattanooga and Aurora shootings, to distribute funds from the Pulse Victim fund, as well as the Orange County Bar Association to handle phone intake and referrals for victim legal inquiries.
Charity Navigator and GuideStar, two websites that grade charities based on how efficiently they use donated funds and organizational governance, have given Equality Florida high marks.
"As we saw after Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon bombing, and other tragedies, there is an outpouring of support to help those suffering. Sadly, however, we also saw some individuals take advantage of people's compassion to make a quick buck for themselves," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "With that in mind, it is important for anyone who wants to make a donation to help the victims and their families, to do a little research to make sure the funds will go to help those in need."
Attorney General Kilmartin cautions against donating through Facebook, Twitter or unsolicited emails, and to never give your credit card, password, or other personal information via these types of requests for support.