By Paco Lopez
The Pulse nightclub shooting didn’t just affect the people of Central Florida, it affected the entire world. It’s just one week shy of the one year anniversary of that evening that took 49 souls from us…and wounded (some seriously) 53 others.
We saw the people of Paris, London, Australia, and those around the globe create tributes geared at those Orlandoans in a show of unity.
We saw local sports teams do tributes, some in the middle of their games, and other teams, like Orlando City, permanently dedicate 49 “rainbow” seats in their stadium to the lives lost, as a permanent tribute in honor of their memory.
However, though many have moved on, others who were there, quite simply have not. They’ve been trying to get their lives back on track. Lord knows it hasn’t been easy. Financially, physically, and emotionally, many of the victims, their families, and friends are still mending. So it’s no surprise that in many cases, they’ve asked for help.
Local politicians, citizens, and friends and family, even strangers have put together charitable collective funds, programs, and events in an attempt to generate revenue for all the physical, mental, and emotional therapy that has pulled many of them into an abyss.
Iyanla Vanzant is one of those people who helps others get their lives together…and she’s doing it again with some of the survivors of the Pulse shooting. You can see her show regularly on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) every Saturday night at 9pm.
But this week you’ll see how Iyanla helps the people who were there, suffered by being shot, by watching loved ones die before their eyes, and by doing everything they could just to get out of the building Omar Mateen took control of and held hostage while the OPD composed a plan to end the standoff.
The shooting took place June 12th, but in Orlando, it’s left an indelible impression on our people. It will be a date that we Central Floridians will never forget.
Thank you Iyanla for helping our family, friends, and neighbors. We hope that your counsel, your words, inspiration, guidance will make it better for those people, for all of us.
But, we’ll continue to work through it together.
United. #OrlandoUnited. #OrlandoStrong.