Turn the Volume Up

Lea este mensaje en español aquí.

the OneOrlando Fund logo, a stylized version of the Lake Eola fountain with a rainbow gradient“The [OneOrlando] board slightly extended the time survivors had to seek medical treatment to the end of the day June 14, and there is now no set time limit on when they had to contact law enforcement, as long as a law-enforcement agency can verify that they were in the club when the shootings began.

…[claims] must be submitted with documentation by Sept. 12.

The money will go only to four groups: the families of the dead, survivors who were hospitalized, survivors who sought outpatient medical treatment, and those who were presComic style illustration by Hannah Miller of Junior Acosta Martinez. Junior is standing on crutches in black and white on a color background of the Pulse Nightclub, littered with tributes. Text on side is a link: gofundme.com/293zwxwent in the club when the shootings began but not physically injured.

Families of the dead will receive the most; the share that goes to ea
ch subsequent group will be decided next month.

Board members wrestled over how to handle claims from same-sex partners whose loved ones were killed. But they ultimately decided…Same-sex partners and biological relatives will have to decide among themselves how to divide up the money — or the matter will be settled by a judge in probate court.”

From “OneOrlando Fund sets final rules on who gets money” via OrlandoSentinel.com, Kate Santich, August 12th, 2016

There is about as much good as can be done within the structure that can be done being done by the OneOrlando Board with these new determinations. However, the road for our survivoPortrait of Swizzy Bennet, survivor of Pulse Shooting, by Orlando artist Brian Philips. Swizzy is a handsome 25y/o black man with close-cut brown hair & a short mustache. He has brown eyes and is looking directly forward in this portrait, wearing a yellow shirt & two large diamond earrings, one in each ear. The text on the image is handwritten: "Swizzy" Bennet / GoFundMe.com/OrlandoSwizzyrs in particular remains long and fraught… with payouts still not expected to begin until October 1st, the concerning element arising from the last Town Hall (and a bit glossed over in most reporting) is that the payout stratagem for survivors has not, and will not, be determined until all claims are not only received, but verified.

Santich goes on near the end of her article with the following:

Another contentious point was whether to give more to survivors who have been hospitalized for mental trauma…Ultimately, though, the board said trying to determine who had suffered most emotionally would be impossible — especially when many are likely to suffer the imageconsequences for years to come. (emphasis by #AdoptOrlando)

The Board may say that they’re not determining who has suffered most; but of course, in a way, they are…

Families of the dead will receive the most; the share that goes to each subsequent group will be decided next month.

But what other choice does the OneOrlando Board have? What an unenviable position to be in. It is hard and beautiful work they are doing for our wounded neighbors. The fund needs to, as advisor Feinburg cautions in less colorful words, not be split like a pie into such thin slices that everyone is still left hungry. In order to do so, its Board must turn down the volume on the voices of those it is actually founded to serve in order to serve them best.

We as a community have the power to do the exact opposite.

We can listen to our neighbors.

When they have the courage and humility to say “I have suffered, I am suffering still, and I need your help,” we, as individuals, don’t have to judge their need as greater or lesser than the needs of anyone else. We can simply say, “I hear you. I’ll do what I can.”

We can donate directly to our survivors. And we can turn the volume up for them, too.


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