People across the world have united in solidarity to stand against the violence and tragic events that occurred at Pulse nightclub in Orlando over the weekend when a mass shooting claimed the lives of 49 people, and the heartwarming gestures that have followed continue to touch those who need it most.
A JetBlue attendant took to Facebook yesterday to share an inspiring story involving the grandmother of Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, a victim whose life was taken the night of the shooting. Kelly Davis Karas shared that Omar's grandmother was on the flight to Orlando "to join her family during this unspeakable time," and the JetBlue team wanted to make sure her solo travels were as comfortable as possible.
"Melinda stood quietly by her wheelchair while we waited until it was time to board. Kellie, the gate agent, boarded with her and helped get her settled. Melinda and I gave her a blanket, a pillow, a box of tissues and water so she could be as comfortable as possible. She was understandably distraught, but met us with kindness and gentleness. And gratitude," she wrote.
But that wasn't enough.
The JetBlue attendants decided to secretly pass a paper around to passengers on the plane in hopes of compiling some sweet notes to hand to the mourning grandmother. What happened was even better.
"When we gathered them together to present them to her, we didn't have just a sheet of paper covered in names, which is what I had envisioned. Instead, we had page after page after page after page of long messages offering condolences, peace, love and support. There were even a couple of cash donations, and more than a few tears," she wrote.
"When we landed, I made an announcement that the company had emailed to us earlier in the morning to use as an optional addition to our normal landing announcement, which states 'JetBlue stands with Orlando.' Then with her permission and at the request of a couple of passengers, we offered a moment of silence in Omar's memory."
Karas continued, "As we deplaned, EVERY SINGLE PERSON STOPPED TO OFFER HER THEIR CONDOLENCES. Some just said they were sorry, some touched her hand, some hugged her, some cried with her. But every single person stopped to speak to her, and not a single person was impatient at the slower deplaning process.
"I am moved to tears yet again as I struggle to put our experience into words. In spite of a few hateful, broken human beings in this world who can all too easily legally get their hands on mass assault weapons - people ARE kind. People DO care. And through our customers' humanity today, and through the generosity of this wonderful company I am so grateful to work for, I am hopeful that someday soon we can rally together to make the world a safer place for all. I will never forget today."
Want to help? Equality Florida, the state's largest LGBT rights group, launched a GoFundMe campaign for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.