I wanted to take a break today from my W.O.W. series to share something that’s been weighing on my mind A LOT lately.
The tornadoes in Oklahoma this week has me thinking about all the crazy events that have happened this year-and it’s not even June yet. I’m not a superstitious person by any means. I’ve walked under ladders, let black cats cross my path, and opened an umbrella inside a time or two. I don’t believe the whole “13 in 2013 is bad” element floating out there.
Instead, I see these past months as something much more hopeful. Out of all the tragedies (Newtown, Boston, West and now Moore, Oklahoma) one thing has struck me: the enduring spirit of the American people. Instead of running from terror, normal, everyday citizens run toward it and try to help. People put aside their own fears, and reach out to help strangers in need. Just this week, people in Oklahoma ran toward the demolished elementary schools and dug through the rubble with their bare hands looking for children. They worked side by side with first responders without any thought of the risk to their own lives. Heroes-each and every one of them. In the sadness of each of these horrible events, I see humans helping humans, and for me, it’s the single, shining light in the darkest of moments.
Another extraordinary thing that comes out of these moments is people’s urgent need to help those affected, even if they live thousands of miles away. After the Boston Marathon, The American Red Cross sent out an alert hours after the tragedy, saying they no longer needed blood donations because so many people had already given. One woman, who is a teacher in my area, collected donations for the children in Newtown, and then drove across the country to visit the community and deliver the items in person.
You may be wondering how you can help. As always there is The American Red Cross, which does amazing work. If you’re a writer, there is a great opportunity to donate via Rebecca Weston’s blog. If you donate to a credible charity, where funds are funneled directly to victims in Oklahoma, you can submit your query or first 250 for a critique by some amazing authors and/or bloggers.
If you aren’t able to donate, I think one of the best things you can do is send a good, positive thought to those affected. The next several weeks, months, and perhaps years, will be very difficult for them. But as we’ve seen this year, those affected by tragedy will soldier on with the help of those who care, and of course through the indomitable strength that is the American spirit.