On October 1st, 2017 at approximately 10:05 pm, lives were forever changed in the Las Vegas community, and around the globe. The Route 91 Harvest Music Festival tragedy is being described in America as the “worst mass shooting in modern history,” and it has shaken an entire city to its core. The passionate response from the local community, however, has sent a powerful message to the world showing what it means to be #VegasStrong and #VegasProud.
FBI agents, police officers, firefighters, EMTs, nurses, doctors, emergency personnel, the coroner and staff, community service workers, volunteers and more have all been working around the clock to assist the victims, survivors, and families of those affected. While details continue to unfold due to a long, thorough investigation by the Las Vegas Police Department and the FBI, the local community has banded together in a most phenomenal way to support the victims, first responders, and support teams.
Following the shooting, blood donation centers were immediately filled with 7 and 8-hour lines being wrapped around the buildings full of people just wanting to help in some way. After just a few days, people were being asked to make reservations because the blood banks were full and couldn’t accept any more (at the time). A Go-Fund-Me account was set up by Steve Sisolak, Clark County Commission Chair, that has now raised over $10 million dollars. Donation centers for other items were immediately set up at drop locations including a nearby convention center, area hospitals, and local businesses- collecting everything from non-perishables, water, and Gatorade, to blankets, clothes, toiletries, gift cards and even phone chargers. These items were delivered to the hospitals and various points of need by local volunteers. Donations were also dropped off to local discharged victims and their families.
Many of the first-responders and support teams have been working double shifts since October 1st. The FBI and police are still working on an active investigation and medical personnel is just now beginning to return to regular shifts at the area hospitals. As the patients are being released from the medical facilities, hundreds of victims are looking at months of rehabilitation and trauma counseling. Because of this, many citizens, restaurant owners, food trucks, and local & celebrity chefs have come together to create informal groups of volunteers whose goal is to help feed the first responders, support teams, and victims, while giving them one less thing to worry about: a hot meal.
The local outpouring of love and generosity during such a tragic time has even received the attention from national media. Groups calling themselves “Vegas Food Army,” “First Food Responders,” and “Helpful Hoodlums” have partnered with local Las Vegas businesses that have served as both donation and delivery centers.
Evel Pie, a local pizza restaurant on Fremont Street, has been offering to feed first responders and emergency personnel for free (with I.D.), while collecting donations in their back alley and then delivering free pizzas to local hospitals, FBI agencies, police & fire stations, plus drop-offs to victims and their families.
These are but a few examples of many that have been demonstrated over the past few weeks in a city known for a completely different kind of hospitality. It is because of this united community front and because of the many acts of kindness that the phrase “Vegas Strong” was immediately embraced, understood and shared by locals, media and sympathizers worldwide.
Vegas Proud: A Message From The Snyder Group
Ask anyone that lives in Las Vegas and chances are, they either know someone who was at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, or they know someone that knows someone who was affected in some way. For as big as this town has grown over the last 10 or even 20years, Vegas is a much smaller community than many outsiders realize. When something affects the city on a massive scale, it affects everyone living in it.
A community is defined as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, characteristics, and goals…” Having that said, we at The Snyder Group are extremely proud to be a part of this incredible, diverse, caring and supportive community. We are your neighbors and we are here for you. It is because of this community and your immediate pro-active response to the mindless devastation, that has put Las Vegas on the map once again, and this time, in a positive light. For that, we thank you, Las Vegas, for being a shining example in an extreme time of darkness.
Our deepest condolences and most heartfelt sympathies go out to all of the victims, survivors, attendees of the festival, their families, and to everyone affected by this horrible tragedy. Our gratitude goes out to all of the first responders and community volunteers for your time, selfless giving and charitable contributions. It is because of your strength, leadership and incredible support that makes Las Vegas a fantastic place to call home.