A baby’s body on the shore.
That’s what it takes for us to pay attention. This includes me, and I am ashamed. We think about these people and these images and feel helpless. Eventually, they fade away.
The pattern is repeated every time there is a disaster that seems so far away, removed from our everyday reality. Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The 2010 Haitian Earthquake. And now, this.
I am tired of feeling helpless, tired of doing nothing. Here’s what I’ve been thinking. Here’s where I think I’ll begin.
The first thing we can do is learn everything we can about these tragedies. We will often hear conflicting reports and explanations, but the more informed we are, the more we can decide what to make of the situation. Most importantly, it will get us to better understand and keep in mind those that need our help. Hopefully, it will fuel us to act.
I’ve been seeing many news stories and posts about what’s happening in Syria. Here’s the one that has helped me to understand the situation the most. It’s a quick, easy, and informative read.
We may not be able to help those in need directly, but we can support those who can. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to know if the money we contribute is being used honestly and effectively, but all we can do is research organizations to the best of our ability and give what we can. Charity Navigator is a great tool for checking an organization’s validity.
Here are some reputable ones if you’d like to make a donation to help the millions of Syrian families in need:
Check out Charity Navigator for a more extensive list of organizations.
Many individuals and organizations are also creating petitions to convince governments to get involved. The people who are fighting to make changes need our support. We need to stand in solidarity with them. There is power in numbers. It takes less than a minute to sign an online petition, and it’s becoming increasingly easy to even start your own.
We may feel helpless when tragedy strikes far away, but there are always things we can do to be good stewards of our own families, neighbors, and communities. I can’t help everyone, but I can help someone. I have to believe one person can make a difference because that’s all I’ve got.
But together? Even bigger things can happen.
“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” -Albert Einstein
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I do know the first step is to make a start. We can always correct course from there. When children are dying because of greed, we are called to do something. There are many ways we can help, but these are just a few that anyone can do no matter how busy you are.
What are your suggestions for helping in times of turmoil around the world? I would love to hear your thoughts. We all need all the help we can get.