The massacre inside of a gay club in Orlando was hundreds of miles away from our city. But for many, the tragedy hit close to home. A month later, our New Yorkers of the Week are still doing everything they can to help. John Schiumo introduces us.
The mass shooting in Orlando happened inside one gay nightclub, but it touched the lives of everyone in the gay community.
"Gay bars have had a long history for people of the LGBTQ community as being sort of our meeting space, our home away from home, a place where we can be ourselves, meet people who understand us. So it was really very painful to see that this had happened," Havern said.
That pain didn’t stop New Yorkers from showing their pride. In record numbers, they recently marched down Fifth Avenue in solidarity.
"There were so many conversations, so many emails, phone calls, coming into our office going, 'How can we help?'" said David Studinski, co-chair of NYC Pride. "Our community stepped forward and our allies stepped forward."
One of those volunteers stepping forward was Paul Havern. Within a week, the 26-year-old organized 400 marchers, made t-shirts and printed banners.
"We were here to not only honor, of course, our family down in Orlando but to say that we’ve got their back and that we're here really to do anything we can for them,” said Havern.
"It showed people that we can still be proud of our lives. We’re going to still remember the people that we lost and celebrate their lives," Studinski said.
Another New Yorker going above and beyond is Eric See, founder of The Awkward Scone. Eric donated profits from a full day of sales to support those in Orlando. And now, he donates a portion of his rainbow cake proceeds to various LGBTQ nonprofits.
"It's not all about revenue and money. It's about being a part of your community," See said. "It reminded me of why I really got into food in the first place."
"Despite what's happened, he showed us that we can mobilize on a community level and really show our support from wherever we are in the world," said Christina Yugai of the Hester Street Fair.
So, for promoting peace and love when it mattered most, those who stepped forward after Orlando are the latest New Yorkers of the Week.