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In the Aftermath of Tragedy

August 12, 2019

It is unfortunate that loss is a part of our lives. Although we have hope for both survivors and victims, we grieve with our fellow Americans and wish that there was some way that we could take away the pain of their losses from the tragedies in El Paso, Dayton, and Gilroy. While that is not entirely possible, there are a few things we can do to show our support and help them on the path to healing. We also can take steps to process our own anxieties and feelings about what has happened.

Donate Resources
Organizations like the American Red Cross can always use donations of time, money, and blood. “In a second consecutive year of record wildfires, hurricanes, tragic shootings and other large crises, generous support enabled our disaster workforce—90% volunteers—to help millions of people in the U.S.,” according to the organization’s website. The Red Cross notes that it has already mobilized staff and volunteers in El Paso and Dayton, and they are offering comfort, support, and family assistance there. The American Red Cross is accepting donations online.

In addition to the Red Cross, you can look into donating blood if you’re local to any of the cities mentioned above. Although they would have distributed blood already, they may need help replenishing supplies.

If you’re so inclined, you might also consider donating to victims’ funds. Several funds have opened to help individual families. However, we would encourage further exploration of these funds to confirm they are legitimate before donating.

Take Meaningful Action
One way to overcome feelings of helplessness and hopelessness is to turn fear and anger into positive action. Writing for Psychology Today, Douglas Vakoch Ph.D. says that for some, this may mean getting involved in a local community organization that would provide an opportunity to meet face-to-face with neighbors to share concerns, rather than everyone remaining isolated and alone in their thoughts.

If you have opinions to share with our elected officials, you can also take action by calling your member of Congress. Here’s how to contact Congress about what you would like to see changed in public policy.

Vakoch says that even if you don’t precisely know what to ask your representatives to do, the process of making your views known can be healthy in itself. “But don’t feel like you need to have all the answers to take action. You can call for change, even if you don’t have specific recommendations,” he writes. You also can research online to draw on the recommendations of groups that have already identified specific steps to improve community safety.

Pray for Our Country
It goes without saying that we hold the victims of these horrible tragedies in our prayers. We know that we can go to God to ask for comfort, peace, and healing for the families affected. We also should lift up our elected leaders and pray for their wisdom, cooperation, and courage in leading our nation forward.

From the Ronald Blue Trust family, we remember the survivors, victims, and heroes from El Paso, Dayton, and Gilroy and extend our deepest sympathies.

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