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The restaurant is usually closed on Sundays, but employees at one Orlando location fed those donating blood to the victims of the nightclub shooting. Video provided by Newsy Newslook

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On any ordinary Sunday, your local Chick-fil-A restaurant would be closed. Following the tragic events of early Sunday morning, though, local Chick-fil-A restaurants decided to pitch in to help those who wanted to help others.

“I saw a post on our work Facebook page,” said Bethany Brackin, a Chick-fil-A connections team member. “My manager asked if a couple people could come and help make food and take it to a couple different blood buses. The second I saw it I was like, 'Yes, I want do it, I would love to help out.’”

The Chick-fil-A on University Boulevard and Rouse Road, along with a few other Orlando Chick-fil-A locations, handed out sandwiches and iced tea to those who waited in several hour lines to donate blood. They also fed the hundreds of law enforcement officials who responded to the scene.

Chick fil A says it has bent its rule of being closed on Sunday a handful of times in order to help out with food donations for "communities in need."

“It is terrible that this tragedy happened, but you can tell that the community is tight,” said Charlie Fish, owner of the Chick-fil-A on University Boulevard. “I have seen people who have maybe different political ideologies and maybe different religious ideologies all coming together on this, and I think that is awesome.”

With the lines to donate blood being so long combined with the weather this time of year, many local businesses decided to help support and applaud the efforts of the community by making donations of whatever they could.

“We noticed that Walgreens and Target were out there giving water,” Fish said. “My marketing director called me up and said, ‘Can we go to the restaurant, I’ve got a bunch of team members who want to make sandwiches for all of these people in line,’ and I said, ‘I see no problem with that — you guys go ahead and do that,’ and so I joined them up here later.”

Fish said the response from the community has been overwhelming and that everyone has been going out of their way to thank him and the rest of the community who has gone the extra mile to help out.

“Everyone asked why we were there that day,” Brackin said. “We were like, ‘Why not?’ We want to help, especially for me because I have lived here my entire life, and this is my city. I love it, and I wanted to help out in any way I could.”

The tragedies that happen are often times unpredictable and unexpected. When tragedies do strike, however, standing up as a community and having everyone come together is something that helps show the character and strength of a city.

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Matthew Saunders is the Sports Editor for the Central Florida Future. Email him at matthews@centralfloridafuture.com.

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