You don't have to be from Maine to be horrified and saddened by the mass shooting that left eighteen people dead and 13 others injured on Wednesday, October 25th in Lewiston, the second-largest city in the Pine Tree State. This is the second mass shooting that has happened in Maine this year according to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), and reportedly the 36th mass killing in the the United States in 2023. The suspected shooter, Robert Card, opened fire in two locations: At a restaurant called Schemengees Bar and Grille and at Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley. Card is still at-large, and there is currently a shelter-in-place order for various towns in Maine at the police search for him.
That being said, local residents are in pain and seeking ways to help each other. The stars of Maine Cabin Masters posted a photo on Instagram sharing how heartbroken they are by this awful killing.
Their caption reads: "Our love and support go out to all of our fellow Mainers after last night’s tragic event in Lewiston. For a big state, Maine is very small. The victims of this senseless act are our family, our friends, and our neighbors. We all feel this pain and our hearts are broken for our state, our children, and everyone who has been affected by this horrible tragedy."
In the comments, people are expressing their shared pain and support to the victims from states all over the US. One person wrote, "Maine is home to us, but we live in NY. We are saddened, angered, and in disbelief over this senseless act of violence. We stand with our beloved Maine and pray for the families."
In times like these, communities have learned to organize quickly to provide some sort of relief for the victims. Below, you can find ways that you can help those affected in and around Lewiston.
For those who live in Maine, the American Red Cross of Northern New England has posted on their Facebook account that they encourage community members to make an appointment online to donate blood in the following days and weeks. According to the post, "The American Red Cross has provided 175 blood products to Maine hospitals in response to this tragedy." You can find a link to northern New England Red Cross locations you can visit here.
There has already been a GoFundMe set up by VictimsFirst, an organization comprised of survivors of mass shootings and trusted supporters. Find a link to the donation page here to support the victims of the Lewiston massacre.
GoFundMe has also set up a general hub you can visit to find other donation links to help the victims and their families.
Donate to a Foundation
While awful situations show us the worst of humanity, they can also show us human kindness in response. In one such instance, during the Boston Bruins's hockey match last night against the Anaheim Ducks, the foundation announced that the proceeds from their 50/50 raffle will go towards the families of the victims. "For select games during this season, the Boston Bruins Foundation conducts a 50/50 raffle to raise funds for a designated beneficiary. Fifty percent of the proceeds go towards the beneficiary while the other fifty percent goes to one lucky winner," reads the description of the raffle on their website. The foundation also auctioned off "player-signed sticks wrapped with blue tape, representing the state of Maine" to show further support.
In addition, the Foundation has pledged to donate a minimum of $100,000 to the victims and their families. You can contribute to the fund here.
If this senseless tragedy has sparked your inner activist, don't let that spark dissipate. The Maine Gun Safety Coalition works to educate local communities on gun safety, hosts gun-give-back programs, and advocates for "common sense gun legislation at state and federal levels." They've also provided resources that can directly help the families and victims of the Lewiston mass shooting.
Another resource on a national scale is Everytown, a gun violence prevention organization working towards banning assault weapons on the national level. On their website, they have an entire page dedicated to providing information on and opportunities for people to take action.
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