How to help the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, in case you’re feeling powerless

We’re still reeling as more details become available about the mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas on Sunday nigh, in what is being reported as the deadliest in modern U.S. history.

Here’s what we know about the Las Vegas shooting so far: Positioned on a 32nd floor room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, a lone gunman, identified by police as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, fired into a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. At least 58 people were killed (current number at time of publication), including an off-duty Vegas police officer; more than 500 people were taken to the hospital. Afterwards, SWAT officers discovered Paddock dead in his hotel room from a reported self-inflicted injury.

When large-scale tragedies like this take place, it’s difficult to process the events or even feel like there’s much you can do as an individual to help the victims and their families get through such a traumatic time in their lives.

We know many of you may be feeling overwhelmed and powerless, but here’s how you can help the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.

1Donate blood.


If you’re in the area, a number of facilities are taking blood donations, including United Blood Services in Vegas, which is located at 6930 West Charleston Boulevard; the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, which will hold its blood drive at the Delta Point Building; and a number of Red Cross blood drives that are currently listed on the organization’s website, Newsweek reports.

For those who aren’t in the Vegas area, the site recommends supporting the National Compassion Fund, which has previously worked with victims and families affected by the Sandy Hook school shooting and 9/11.

2Contribute to a GoFundMe.

Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak has teamed up with the Las Vegas Sheriff’s department to create a GoFundMe to help the victims and their families. Given the scale of this shooting and the number of hospitalizations, there will likely be other families seeking contributions as well.

3Contact elected officials.

Undoubtedly, there will be much discussion in upcoming weeks surrounding Nevada’s gun control laws. which are apparently among some of the most lax in the country.

Salon writes:

"Nevada state law does not require residents to obtain a purchasing permit, register or license for either handguns or rifles and shotguns, according to the National Rifle Association's website. The NRA website also says that you don't need a permit in order to carry rifles and shotguns, although one is required in order to carry a handgun. Nevada also does not impose a mandatory waiting period before allowing residents to purchase a firearm."

By contacting elected officials like senators, representatives, and members of Congress, you are doing your part to impact the gun control laws, which could lead to government better regulating the use of unsafe guns.

4Avoid spreading inaccurate info.

We totally understand wanting to get the word out to as many people as possible, or even commiserating with others who are simply trying to get a grip on what has happened so far. But all the aforementioned efforts can be complicated if you don’t take the time to ensure the accuracy of information before you post it on your timelines. You can help everyone by taking a minute to do your research before sharing information.

If you’re feeling helpless and completely inundated by all that has taken place, give yourself permission to take a step back in order to process the chain of events, and deal with your emotions in a healthy way so that you can be of the greatest service to others in their time of need.