By now, you’ve heard about what happened last night in Las Vegas. If you’re anything like me, you’re sickened by how many times you’ve read stories like these over the past few years and gotten tired of listening to government officials send their thoughts and prayers, and then doing nothing else. So today, we’re going to talk about what you can do, even from afar.
How to Help
What encourages me most is seeing how many people have already reached out to help. This morning, I found posts from people on my Facebook page in the MyVegas Friends group offering up their home to strangers who were stranded. CNN told of people who were waiting in line at 4:30 am to donate blood. And the Boston Globe noted people loading victims into their cars to transport them to the hospital. Heroes all, knowing that they will never receive any recognition for their good deeds.
How To Help, Even from Far Away
You may be thousands of miles away, but you can still help. Here are a few ways how:
- Give Blood. The Red Cross is always looking for blood donors. Always. It costs you no money, about an hour of your time and, as corny as it sounds, you will be making a difference. You’ll never meet the person who gets your blood, but they will be grateful for it.
- Call your Congresscritters. It will take you only a minute to do so and your calls do count. Insist that they do something about the ridiculous gun violence that seems to be so prevalent. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Democrat, Republican or None of The Above. If you don’t squawk, they will continue to do nothing more than pay lip service.
- And you can always visit Las Vegas. My wife and I always spend time there the second week in October, and this year will be no different. Las Vegas shares one characteristic with the islands that were recently devastated by hurricanes: It is a destination that relies heavily on tourism. While the shooting may turn out to be only a blip in visitor traffic (compared to the multi-year recovery in the Caribbean), many of the folks who live there rely on your cash and work in tipped positions. Not a high-roller? No problem, low-rollers can experience a bit of luxury, as well. Got kids? There is plenty for them to do, as well.
In the long run, I hope what I remember most about last night is the people who helped.
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