Las Vegas massacre: How Minnesotans can help

Details on how to donate to organizations providing help on the ground in Nevada.

The mass shooting in Las Vegas is the world at its very worst, but it's bringing out the best in citizens rushing to aid those hurt in the massacre.

Tales of heroism among those caught up in the chaos have been emerging on Monday, while calls for blood to help the 500-plus people injured have prompted huge lines outside blood banks as people rush to donate.

Minnesota may be some 1,500 miles away from the Nevada city, but there are ways that Minnesotans can help all those affected.

Donating money

You might not be able to donate blood, but you can donate to the Southern Nevada chapter of the Red Cross, which is accepting donations via its website here or by phone at 702-369-3674.

You can also donate to the Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada, which provides medical services to people without access to health care.

An official GoFundMe account for the victims and families of the shooting has been set up by the chairman of the Clark County commission. 

So far it has raised more than $900,000 out of a $2 million target. You can find the page here.

Newsweek also suggests donating to the National Compassion Fund, which directly distributes donations to victims of a mass crime, previously helping families of those killed in 9/11 and the Sandy Hook massacre.

Be careful what you share

In the hours after the shooting, there was a wealth of misinformation about the perpetrator and motivation that spread like wildfire across the internet.

Business Insider reports that viral fake news hit social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, while some of it has even fooled Google search algorithms and ended up in the top results.

To follow developments, follow trusted news outlets that are getting their information from official sources and cross-check them with other outlets. Check on the validity of the information you see before you share it.

Also be wary of fundraising sites raising money for the victims of the shooting. Some of these might well be raising money for a funeral or memorial, but Stylecaster notes that incidents like this bring forward opportunists seeking a quick buck from well-intentioned citizens.

To get the latest straight from officials, Las Vegas police are sharing updates on their Twitter page.

Contacting your Member of Congress

The shooting has unsurprisingly led to calls for action on gun control, and other calls from people requesting a few days of grief before demanding political change.

But if you're among those who want to see action taken at the political level, you can find the details of how to contact Minnesota's Congressional delegation here. 

If you want to make representations at the state level, you can search for your state legislator using this site.

You can help with Puerto Rico too

While Vegas is the latest disaster to hit the U.S., the island of Puerto Rico is still reeling from the devastating hurricane that flattened the island and has left more than half of its residents without access to clean drinking water.

Minnesota Sen. Melissa Franzen, a native of the island, is coordinating the state's response to the disaster with fundraisers and a demonstration planned for this week. You can find out more about this here.

GoMN put together a guide last week about how to help Puerto Rico relief efforts. You can find this here.

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