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This is a space where Foundation staff share their thoughts and musings on giving and community:

Standing in Solidarity with Orlando

Posted by: Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup on 6/17/2016

Standing in Solidarity with Orlando

Supporting the victims of the Pulse massacre and fighting for LGBTQ equality

This past Sunday, while the horrible news began to trickle and then flood out of Orlando, Florida, the community advisory committee for the Samara Fund was meeting in Montpelier to award the 2016 grants in support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Allied Vermonters. 

The Samara Fund, a component fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, has been making grants in support of LGBTQ Vermonters for almost 25 years and in that time we have seen tremendous progress –Vermonters have consistently led the way and the Samara Fund has been there to lend its support.

But today, there is Orlando.  Forty-nine people, mostly young, mostly Latinos and Latinas, mostly queer-identified, were gunned down in a space that, for many, was meant to be a sanctuary against hate. A place to be themselves, to celebrate their culture and identity, a place to dance. 

In this moment of grief and mourning for the victims in Orlando, the Samara Fund and the Vermont Community Foundation want to acknowledge the pain and hurt that our LGBTQA brothers and sisters are experiencing and to note that, far too often, young people of color are most at risk.

At the Samara Fund, we are proud to support work that seeks to end violence against LGBTQ people and people of color. We stand in solidarity with all people who experience violence because of who they are and who they love.

Our colleagues at Funders for LGBT Issues have put together a resource guide for those who wish to help.  For anyone wishing to support the victims and their families directly, here are three of the top places for giving on their list:

If donors are interested in making a grant from their Donor Advised Fund, the Council on Foundations recommends giving to the OneOrlando Fund at the Central Florida Foundation to help meet the needs of the diverse Orlando community in the aftermath of this tragedy.

The full list of Orlando giving resources is here

For more information or advice on giving to support LGBTQ issues or to organizations working to end violence, contact us here at the Vermont Community Foundation.  And, in the wake of Orlando, if you need someone to cry with or get angry with, we’re here for that too.  We are here to help.

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