When tragedy strikes, there is only one thing to do.
Let's start with some positive words from Mr. Rogers.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
– Fred “Mr.” Rogers (Read Dealing with Tragic Events)
I believe that Mr. Rogers is right. Focusing on the helpers in a situation will help you to refocus from the negative to the positive at least as much as possible.
Well, while I would never debate or dispute Mr. Rogers, I feel there is a second piece to this that he did not mention that I shared on Facebook earlier today.
BECOME a helper yourself.
That will help you to stop feeling so powerless and to regain a semblance of control in an otherwise helpless situation. I know that it works for me.
After a random act of violence, the best thing we each can do is a random act of kindness.
Please touch someone's life in some positive way this weekend – whether large or small and report back here. It can be as simple as holding open a door, giving money, visiting a neighbor, bundling up some books and giving them to the library, or sending a card. Anything. Don't think or overthink it. Just do it.
Feel free to repeat as often as you need to until your heart starts hurting just a little bit less.
I need to restore my faith in humanity, and I'm guessing a lot of you do, as well. Let's do it together.
Thank you in advance.
PS. Here are some awesome examples: Random Acts of Kindness.
PS again. Here are some organizations where you can donate directly to help the victims of Newtown.
– Ways to Be a Helper –
Throughout the weekend, I'm going to add to this list to include ways that you've mentioned to help others.
** If donating money, consider donating in the name of one of the victims. **
- Give an extra big gift to your kids' teachers this year.
- Bring your old books to the library. You've already read them, will you really read them ALL again?
- Toys for Tots
- Call someone you love just to say “hi” and tell them you care.
- Go to a friend's home who is ill and give them a meal. Don't ask first. Just do it.
- Call your church and ask about programs where you can serve with time or money or both.
- Offer to decorate an elderly neighbor's home for Christmas.
- Bring your old towels, sheets, or blankets to the local Humane Society. (They can be ones you would otherwise throw away. Stains and tears are ok.)
- Give a meal to someone who is hungry.
- Bring canned goods to your local pantry. (Even if it's stuff from your pantry that you don't want.)
- Buy some trash bags, board games, or food items (or offer to cook a meal) for families at your local Ronald McDonad's House.
- Learn where abused and abandoned children in your area are served (in my area, it is Children in Crisis) – and find out how you can help.
- Bring some treats to your local Fire Department. (Side bonus: Firefighters…)
Salvation Army wishing tree for children who would not otherwise get gifts.
Foster children move from one home to another, often with all of their belongings in a paper or plastic sack. Donate a new or used backpack or suitcase. (See Jeanette's comment below.)
Sign up for a CPR and/or First Aid class.