It’s been a rough week, hasn’t it?
It didn’t feel right to write something funny or lighthearted this week. Instead, I urge you to take action. To put some good juju out into the world.
When I heard of the Las Vegas shooting on Monday, I found myself more upset than usual– and let us pause and reflect upon the fact that there have been enough tragedies in recent years that I said “THAN USUAL” in reference.
It followed me throughout the day; a sense of dread, fear, and sadness that I couldn’t shake. I even started writing a post about the anxiety I felt weighing me down.
I tried to find the words to say something about what is happening in our world, to show that I care. I looked for an image to share and show my support.
But I realized something in doing so: it’s not about me, sharing something on social media. It’s about the 58 people killed and 500 injured in Las Vegas Sunday night; the 34 people killed and one million people without power or access to food or running water in Puerto Rico, as a result of Hurricane Irma; it’s about the 82 people killed and 30,000 homes lost as a result of Hurricane Harvey. (Oh yeah, remember them?)
I also realized that my words are not enough, and that sharing a picture on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter does nothing to actually help these people.
I watched a video which shared the names of the people who were killed on Sunday; I learned small details about these people– who they were, their age, what they did for a living, if they were a mother or father, and sometimes a trait people loved about them. I was heartbroken watching this video, for the innocent people who lost their lives, and their loved ones who lost them. Tears streamed down my face, and I thanked God that my husband, my family, my friends were all alive and safe.
But that could change in an instant.
If I truly want to show my support, I decided that I needed to DO something.
Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I am not here to talk politics, or to impose my own views upon you. Nor am I shaming anyone for sharing images or thoughts and prayers. What I am here to do is to encourage you– to challenge you to DO something. Do something to help. Our thoughts and prayers, although well-intentioned, are not enough.
There are so many ways for all of us to do something to help the millions of people who need more than just our thoughts and prayers.
Here are some examples:
- This GoFundMe page is raising money to support the victims of the shooting in Las Vegas.
- The National Compassion Fund provides support to victims and their families in both the short- and long-term.
- Donate blood. There have been reports that enough blood has been donated in Las Vegas at this point, but donating blood at any time can help.
- 90% of every dollar donated to Unicef goes directly to helping children.
- The Humane Society’s Disaster Relief Fund is used to protect animals impacted by the storms.
- Unidos por Puerto Rico was set up by Puerto Rico’s first lady to provide aid to those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
- Save the Children works to support children and families in both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic who will need to rebuild their lives after the hurricanes.
- National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster provides a number of ways you can volunteer to help those affected by Hurricane Maria, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Harvey.
- This GoFundMe page is dedicated to bringing emergency supplies and long-term help to Texas residents who are continuing to recover from Hurricane Harvey.
- Charity Navigator lists a number of different charities to choose from when donating your money to help those affected by tragedy.
- Every download of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s song “Almost Like Praying” goes to The Hispanic Federation’s disaster relief fund.
Make a donation. Volunteer. Give blood. Call your representatives. Go to freakin’ Puerto Rico. I don’t care what you do, but please, please do something. What if it were you or me? Would you feel like words were enough then?
PS I just want to reiterate, I am not bashing anyone who shared “Pray for…” images on social media, or sent “thoughts and prayers.” I just felt like it was time for me to do more, and I hope there are others out there who feel the same way.
PPS If you’re feeling down, remember the good in the world. Here are some reminders:
- Ellen, highlighting some of the good we’ve seen on her show over the years.
- This Buzzfeed post showcasing the good in people’s hearts in everyday, seemingly small moments.
- This site dedicating to sharing good world news stories.
- And of course, baby animals: