Monday, December 17, 2012

"Look for the helpers"

Photo courtesy
In the aftermath of an event like this weekend's unthinkable tragedy in Newtown, CT, we often find ourselves looking for answers. Sometimes, simple advice from our childhood is the most helpful. This has been circulating since Friday (I first saw it on the Facebook page of a good friend, a Red Cross colleague I met while while deployed to assist in the Sandy relief efforts), so you may have already seen this old story about none other than Mr. Rogers:

Fred Rogers often told this story about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news: "My mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers-so many caring people in this world."

Tara Hughes speaking at White House panel
entitled "Building Resilient Communities by Empowering
Individuals to Take Action and Strengthen Community
Capacity" in September
One of those helpers in this case is from right here in Western New York. Volunteer Tara Hughes got in her car Friday afternoon and drove to Newtown to help lead the Red Cross response to this tragedy. Tara is our NYS Disaster Mental Health chief, and recently returned from leading the emotional response to Hurricane Sandy downstate. She is an expert in childhood trauma who helped run the Family Assistance Center here following the crash of Flight 3407, and Tara's skill and expertise will hopefully help bring comfort to members of this suffering community.

Of course, events such as this can affect us even if we're hundreds of miles away. Click here for some tips on dealing with violence and traumatic events. 

The Red Cross joins all in keeping the families and community in our thoughts. We currently have what we need to support our efforts, but if you want to make a donation to support the affected families, the United Way of Western Connecticut has created a Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

No comments:

Post a Comment