The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

How to Help the Victims of the Lewiston Mass Shooting

A+white+ribbon+in+memory+of+the+victims+of+the+Lewiston+mass+shooting+hangs+on+a+sign+on+campus.+Ribbons+were+distributed+in+bundles+of+18+and+will+hang+for+18+days+to+commemorate+the+18+people+killed+on+Oct.+25.+Noah+Skinner%2FThe+Bates+Student.
A white ribbon in memory of the victims of the Lewiston mass shooting hangs on a sign on campus. Ribbons were distributed in bundles of 18 and will hang for 18 days to commemorate the 18 people killed on Oct. 25. Noah Skinner/The Bates Student.

On Oct. 25, 2023, a shooter took the lives of 18 Lewiston residents. It’s been three weeks since this tragedy occurred, and many members of the community have already stepped up to help in multitudes of ways. There is still more that can be done. So, if you’re looking for a way to help Lewiston stay strong, you’ve come to the right place. Below are a couple ways to contribute to this cause.

 

Give Blood

If you are able, consider donating blood! A nationwide shortage has been exacerbated locally by the need to support people injured in the shootings, and appointments to give blood locally are still available through the Red Cross website. Make it a group activity by going with a group of friends; be sure to bring water and have a sweet treat afterwards. 

 

Donate Directly

If you have Lewiston and Auburn on your mind but are not physically nearby, consider donating to any of the following funds that call out to you. Below is a list of ways to donate to the people affected or the organizations working to support them.

Direct to Families and Survivors: 

  • GoFundMe has collected all fundraisers organized by and for the families and survivors in one place. Give directly to those who need it most by picking a fundraiser from the verified list.

Medical Services and First Responders:

  • The Central Maine Medical Center (CMMC) Compassionate Care Fund will fund emotional and behavioral health support services for CMMC staff and patients as well as fund improvements in trauma care. 
  • The American Red Cross does great work responding to emergencies in Lewiston and beyond. Bates students may have noticed them providing crisis support at the Lewiston vigil or on-campus trick-or-treating.

External Organizations That Support Victims of Mass Shootings:

  • Victims First is a pro-bono organization dedicated to helping those who are victims of mass casualty crimes. All of their funding helps people impacted by mass shootings cover medical bills and other urgent needs.
  • The Greg Hill Foundation’s mission statement says that its goal is to respond to “immediate requests for assistance [and] to improve the lives of local families touched by tragedy.” It is a nonprofit founded by Boston newscaster Greg Hill and has a fund dedicated to supporting victims and families in Lewiston.

 

Volunteer in Lewiston

In this time of extra grief and vulnerability, support the community that you call home. From connecting with elementary schoolers during their recess to volunteering in hospitals, visit the Harward Center to get involved and support local residents. Their new platform CommunityPulse makes it even easier!

 

Spread the Word About Resources

Tell the Lewiston residents you know about support they can access. Everything from free acupuncture clinics to mental health support is available to all people affected by the violence. A walk-in support center at 217 Main Street has resources for those in need of support and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. And a Community Resiliency Center at 184 Main Street opened on Nov. 13 to provide longer-term support for survivors, families and community members.

Individuals in need of immediate mental health support can access the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 27/4 by calling or texting 998. Deaf TTY users should dial 711 and then 988.

 

Look After Your Friends

Grief is not a linear process, so check in with your Bates peers and remind them of the resources available to them, like their Student Support Advisor, Bates’s no-cost Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Multifaith programming and conversation. After-hours, Bates contracts with ProtoCall to provide immediate mental health care for students during the school year; students should call 207-786-6200 to be connected with a mental health professional.

All residents can call the Maine Crisis Line at (888) 568-1112 or Maine’s warm-line for non-crisis calls at (866) 771-9276. The Tri-County Mental Health Services, reachable at (888) 304-4673, offers local mental health services.

 

Get the Facts About Gun Violence

In the midst of the shooting and the lockdowns, many said something along the lines of ‘this sort of thing never happens in Maine.’ However, gun violence permeated even the so-called safe haven of Maine, which has looser gun laws than many states. It is becoming more and more common, and there are steps to take to become an educated citizen.

Below are a couple of education-based sources:

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About the Contributors
Leah Belber, Assistant Arts & Leisure Editor

Leah is a sophomore from Washington, D.C. who will likely major in English with a minor in French. Deeply opinionated about food, she enjoys trying new restaurants and baking elaborate birthday cakes. You can find her filming TikToks for Bates on the quad or attending PAUSE on Wednesday nights!

In her first year, Leah was a staff writer writing primarily for Arts & Leisure, continuing her work from high school at The Augur Bit.

Catalina Passino, Managing Features Editor
Catalina is a sophomore from Leesburg, Virginia. She plans to major in Psychology and minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Outside of her studies, Catalina dabbles in baking, basketball, and frolicking. During her freshman year, Catalina began as a contributing writer and later became a staff writer for the Bates Student. Though she is now in features, she also enjoys the news and forum sections.

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