How Can I Help?
When shocking and horrible events happen, abroad, but especially at home, we often find ourselves asking questions. What kind of world do we live in? How can I ever feel safe? What can I do to help?
In the face of fear and uncertainty, the last one gives us a way to act, rather than just react. How can I help? What can I do? These are powerful questions.
Volunteering To Help
Not all of us can give medical help or assist with law enforcement that could directly impact the recent events in Boston. However, there is no shortage of people and communities that need our help. Giving a little time or a few possessions can help so much.
Here are a few communities to think of supporting:
Children: When children see adults shaken by tragedy, they often feel even more afraid. Children can regain normalcy by participating in events and learning new skills, all while having some volunteers lead them. Getting involved in an ongoing program like Big Brothers, Big Sisters or volunteering as a tutor at a school can give children a glimpse of adults who care for them, which gives a sense of stability.
Disaster Relief: When tragic events happen, most of the resources of agencies are shifted to that area. This leaves holes in other areas. Assisting a disaster relief organization who has reallocated resources, like the Red Cross, can allow them to continue their support in other regions.
Community Centers: Incidents like those in Boston draw our attention to how important it is for us to stay connected and have community, no matter where we are from. Volunteering in a community center or giving supplies to one can increase their reach, helping them help those who may have no close family to provide support.
Support Races: In light of the site of the bombings, fundraising races deserve a mention in this post. Putting on a 5k (or more) is a huge amount of work for organizations involved. As the weather gets warmer, these races will happen more and more. If you aren’t running, think about signing up as support staff for a race for the cause of your choice.
No matter where you help, doing so will contribute to our sense of community and show others that someone cares about them. Which will make fear and uncertainty lessen in the face of compassion. So, don’t just ask how you can help. Take action. Help.
Christine McMullin is currently helping volunteers find their place at The World Is Fun and The Girl Scouts of Western Washington. You can reach her @CMcMChatter