It’s difficult to make sense of the recent tragedies across the world, to wrap our heads around the injustice of the lives lost, of those lives affected forever, of homes destroyed. It becomes all too easy to fill our hearts with anger and rage. In these sad and dark times we found light in the overwhelming love and support shown by millions of people who bound together to help wherever they could.
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma & Maria
Hurricane Irma caused catastrophic damage in Barbuda, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Anguilla and the Virgin Islands. Building in intensity from 30 August it reached its peak on September 6 causing at least 134 deaths.
Thousands of homes were completely destroyed and thousands more were damaged. So many locals were left thankful for their survival but forced to re-build their home and livelihood from scratch. With many areas completely flooded, water supplies cut off, signals down and roads blocked with debris from homes and buildings; it was described as a real war zone.
Shelters opened quickly as areas were evacuated and first response was on the scene. Larger organisations, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), built to deal with such cases came to aid. Thanks to careful coordination between the government and other countries and cities, the police and other emergency departments, pop up hospitals were built and temporary housing were provided for residents.
Those that really provided a hands on approach and showed real love and support during these sad times were the volunteers who pull together to help in such a crisis. From saving lives by helping to search for survivors or simply offering comfort to those in need they really made a difference. Some were as brave to head towards the storm to provide their help where they could. Locals in Georgia provided snacks and hot drinks for those on the road who were fleeing Irma. On Marco Island, a group of locals saved a washed up dolphin by pitching in and carrying it back to shore. One woman from central Florida was heartbroken when her store had run out of generators to keep her father alive. We saw heart-breaking generosity when a local insisted on her taking his.
You can help victims of Hurricane Harvey, which caused significant damage to Texas and along the Texas Gulf coast, by donating here
If you would like to help the victims hurricane Irma follow the link below to donate. The fund is exclusively for necessary relief and recovery efforts for the victims of the storm click here.
Puerto Rico still suffers from the shock caused by Hurricane Maria. Help surviving victims here.
Earthquakes in Mexico
Mexico City reels from the disaster of being struck by two powerful earthquakes on September 7 and again on September 19.The earthquakes along with related incidents, including building collapse, killed around 400 people and injured thousands more. Buildings and homes were completely destroyed causing hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of damage.
After the quakes, thousands of volunteers pulled together in an amazing display of solidarity, to search for survivors. Blankets, supplies and gallons of water were donated across the makeshift shelters.
The hero ‘moles’ a volunteer group formed after the devastating 1985 Mexican earthquake rushed to aid, going where others wouldn’t in search for survivors, often arranging day long searches. As volunteers they were not paid for their work but did this out of the goodness of their hearts.
One story that really pulled at our heartstrings was that of Frida, the quake rescue dog. A sixth sense for finding bodies amongst the rubble of destroyed buildings, she was able to really help search for victims and any trapped survivors. Her story, as well as other rescue dogs has inspired locals and given them a sense of hope.
There is still so much to be done. If you would like to help surviving victims to re-build their lives please donate to the Mexican Red Cross efforts here.
Las Vegas Shooting
Heartbreak and despair hit Las Vegas on October 1 in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history when a gunman opened fire on the Route 91 music festival. The attack killed 58 innocent attendees of the festival and injured a further 489 innocent casualties. There are no words to describe the unnecessary pain and suffering caused by this inhumane act.
Within minutes after the shooting crisis-trained volunteers were on the scene to help victims and their families. A truly difficult task, they offered whatever support was needed to those families left suffering the loss of their loved ones.
In the following days many became overwhelmed with the support they received from the local community. People stood in line for over 5 hours to give blood, and many had to eventually be turned away when demand was sufficiently met. Food and water donations were in plenty supply at local evacuation centres and hospitals. Volunteers even had to be turned away from the victim’s family resource centre when they reached full capacity.
Through all of this we see that it doesn’t take superpowers to be a superhero to someone in need. It really is inspiring seeing the generosity, the love and support shown from across the world to complete strangers in need. We really do have some truly inspiring heroes among us. Love and kindness will conquer all.
If you want to help the victims of Las Vegas shooting get back on their feet here is link to one of the funds that have been set up to help click here.