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Chick-fil-A opened on Sunday after Orlando gay nightclub mass shooting to serve blood donors

(REUTERS/Gary Cameron)The exterior of a Chick-fil-A restaurant is seen in Silver Spring, Maryland, August 1 2012. Two former Republican presidential candidates, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, are encouraging people to eat at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday to show support for the chain restaurant as it weathers criticism for its president's public opposition to same-sex marriage.

Chicken restaurant Chick-fil-A broke protocol when they opened Sunday, June 13 and served food to those donating blood for the victims of the Orlando mass shooting incident.

Several branches of Chick-fil-A located in the Orlando area went to work on a Sunday in order to pitch in their help to the responders of the Orlando tragedy where a gunman attacked the Pulse gay nightclub and killed 49 and injured more than 50 others.

"When you're in the midst of a tragedy, you just go where you're told you are needed," the restaurant's area marketing director, Cindy Coffman, told Independent Journal Review.

The chicken restaurant handed chicken biscuits, orange juice, and coffee to the police, fire fighters, and volunteers. They also gave out cards for free sandwiches to those donating blood.

"We feel humbled to just be a part of the bigger picture," Coffman said.

Meanwhile, branches of the chicken restaurant located outside Orlando also showed their condolences and solidarity to the grieving community by lowering the American flag to half-mast.

"This is showing compassion for everyone regardless of their lifestyle choices or other beliefs," Paul Brown, whose daughter-in-law worked at the Chick-fil-A, wrote on Facebook.

Brown added, "However this will probably never make the news and that's okay because its about helping those in need and being a light to the world."

This was the same observation Vianna Vaughn, who writes for DC Gazette, came to. The day after the tragedy, Vaughn penned in her article the question why what Chick-fil-A did in the wake of the tragedy was not picked up by any mainstream news channels. She contrasted this to the instances when the restaurant made national news or went viral because of their stand against homosexuality and same-sex marriage, even triggering boycotts.

Rather than recognition, it is to build a loving community that they are after, according to Coffman. She recalled a favorite quote of Chick-fil-A's late founder, Truett Cathy.

It goes, "Nearly every moment of every day, we have the opportunity to give something to somebody else, whether it's our time or our resources. I have always been happiest giving to others when I had no expectation of getting anything back."

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