I try to be a positive person, but man – it’s only Tuesday and it’s already been a pretty awful week. Between the devastation mounting in Puerto Rico two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit, Texas and Florida and the Virgin Islands only beginning their own long roads to recovery after Irma and Maria, and the horrific shooting in Las Vegas yesterday (as of the time I’m typing this, there are 59 dead in what is the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history), there seems to be a pretty dark cloud hovering lately. And also, Tom Petty died. I mean, come on universe. What is going on?
I normally reserve Links I Love posts for Fridays, and I had a different post scheduled for today. But truth be told, I just didn’t feel right posting something lighthearted today (and the post I had scheduled was just that). And while I did have a Links I Love post planned for this Friday, I really don’t think I could have sat here and written about a cute pair of jeans I found online or a funny link I came across about puppies or something. I mean yes, for pete’s sake, lets try to keep some humor and simple pleasures in our lives right now rather than allowing ourselves to completely fall into a pit of despair and give up entirely – but let’s not hide from reality either.
All of this said, I’m bumping up this week’s Links I Love post and using it to share links of ways to help. Let’s not let these horrible occurrences fade into the background you guys. Even if we can’t all pack our bags and travel to these areas that need us and devote our lives to volunteering, there are small things we can do that I truly believe can collectively make a difference. Thoughts and prayers are so important but they’re not enough. We need to take action. (And while I consider myself to be a pretty political person, I choose not to discuss politics on the blog. But I will say that taking action via contacting your representatives is a way to help too. A powerful one.)
HELPING LAS VEGAS
If you are in the state of Nevada, go give blood. United Blood Services began taking blood yesterday at two locations: 6930 W. Charleston in Las Vegas, and 601 Whitney Ranch Drive in Henderson.
A fundraiser called the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund has been created by the Clark County Commission Chair. So far, it has already raised $ 2 million for the victims and their families.
The National Compassion Fund will send 100% of proceeds directly to the victims, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime. The NCVC started a similar fund after the Pulse nightclub shooting.
HELPING PUERTO RICO
Global Giving has a fund in place to provide relief to survivors in the form of emergency supplies like food, water, and medicine in addition to longer-term recovery assistance to help residents recover and rebuild. All donations to this fund will exclusively support any necessary hurricane relief and recovery efforts in the Caribbean.
HELPING THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
An official website has been set up for the recovery effort in the Virgin Islands after they were hit by both Irma and Maria, with information being updated regularly. Donations can be made directly through this site.
HELPING THOSE AFFECTED BY IRMA IN FLORIDA
NPR put together a great article last month that list numerous ways, both monetary and otherwise, to help those in Florida that were affected by Irma.
HELPING THOSE AFFECTED BY HARVEY IN TEXAS
It’s been a month since I wrote this post on 10 ways to directly help those affected by Harvey, but it’s still relevant, and they still need our help.
Thank you for reading, and for caring. And if you have other ways to help I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments or via email. In the words of my all-time favorite band the Grateful Dead, “one way or another, this darkness got to give.”