Many of you will recall that after the Newtown Connecticut shootings, I posted a challenge.
Well, after yesterday's events, I'm reposting. I hope it helps.
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
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 week – 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.
Before I go, I want to share an email that my good friend, Lain Ehmann, sent to her lists today.
15 minutes before the explosions rocked downtown Boston, my kids and I were there. RIGHT THERE.
I took my three kids downtown to see the marathon finish line. It was so fun to watch families reunite with their runners and see the general hubbub. But after an hour or two, it was time to go. We were lucky.
But this is not about us. This is about those who need our help.
My heart now aches – for those injured, of course, but also for the thousands of people like us who will forever remember being “right there.”
At the same time, I'm keeping my eyes on the images of those who ran TO the blasts, civilians, soldiers, volunteers, and emergency response teams. Their first thought was not of themselves, but of how they could help others. THAT is the image I want seared in my brain.
And that is how I want to respond — by helping. WE ARE NOT HELPLESS. We are not at the whim of the forces of evil and destruction. We can overcome this tragedy with love, prayer, and our support.
I have donated to the Greg Hill Foundation, a charitable foundation started by a local media celeb to respond to immediate crises in the New England area. The foundation has pledged all of its current donations to helping those affected by the bombings.
If you would like to donate directly, you can do so here:
I'm also committing to donate 100 percent of the proceeds from a special sale to the foundation.
You can find out more about that on my blog at http://www.layoutaday.com/
marathon (details are outlined there).
Whatever you can do – pray, hug a friend, be a little nicer to someone who usually drives you nuts — DO IT TODAY.
I refuse to sit quietly and let negativity, fear, and blame win.
So there you have it. Two ways to become a helper immediately.
Big hugs and thank you in advance.
– Ways to Be a Helper –
- Donate to http://www.
thegreghillfoundation.org/ – Consider donating in the name of one of the victims Krystle Campbell, 29, or Martin Richard, 8
- Don't have money to give? Give blood – you can help someone locally to you. (If you live in the Boston area, give blood in the coming weeks as supplies will be depleted.)
- If you saw anything, took pictures that day or have video – Call the Boston police tipline at 1-800-494-8477 (TIPS) or the FBI at 1-800-225-5325 (CALL-FBI).
- Sign up for a CPR and/or First Aid class. If you're ever in the position to help someone you will know how. Bring a friend.
- Even BETTER! Sign up your kids to take CPR and first aid classes with you, so they can help a friend if ever necessary! (Survivors guilt is a terrible thing, to witness someone you love hurting and not being able to help them. This is a huge gift to give to your children. The gift of helping to save someone instead of watching helplessly.)
- Donate to the Salvation Army who is on site now.
- Pray. (Not just close your eyes and say “Hey God, please help these people.” but a “hitting your knees and pouring your heart out” kind of praying.)
- 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.
- 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…)
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.