I know people who were grievously injured in the Oklahoma City bombing. They have lost their homes and jobs because of the injuries. Some of the survivors will require care from their families for the rest of their lives.
America reached out to us during the days after that horrible event. Huge amounts of money were donated. Despite this, families of the injured have been forced into bankruptcy and ultimately been left to deal with the after affects themselves.
We are going to have to get used to these tragedies.
They appear to be coming at us Wham! Wham! Wham! We need to learn how to maintain an even strain in the face of them and still take care of the victims and their families.
We also need to go after the perpetrators, which, I believe, we will. I’ll save the conversation concerning our society’s overwhelming need for conversion for a later post.
Today, I want to talk about what “maintaining an even strain” in the face of repetitive atrocity means in real life. I’m going to link to a video showing how the people on the ground in Boston responded to the bombing. They swung into action immediately. They went to the aid of the injured and they did it calmly, cooperatively and, in my opinion, the way that Americans have always done it.
We do this every time, don’t we? Americans don’t run away from each other when we’re in trouble. We reach out and help each other. Boston was no exception.
I’m also going to put a link to at least one place where you can donate money. The owner of the Boston Patriots has set up a matching program for donations for the survivors. Go to this link and donate a few dollars. If you don’t have much, just give $5 or $10. If enough of us do that, it will add up, fast.
If you learn of other legitimate links, feel free to post them in the combox. But please do your best to make sure they are reputable.
Another suggestion I’m going to make is that we consider forming support groups for specific survivors of these atrocities in our Altar Societies, parish Knights of Columbus, etc. The reason I described the hardship survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing have been through is because genuine caring doesn’t end when the ratings go down and the news media skips on to the next big thing.
There are people who survived the shooting in Aurora who will probably need help for a long time. That is almost certainly the same in Boston. The rescue workers are also going to suffer from this for a long time.
All these people need both financial and emotional support that is on-going and long-lasting.
Here are things you can do that will make a difference:
1. Pray for them — by name, if you know their names. Pray for them every day. Include them — again by name, if you know their names — in your group prayers, your family bed time prayers, etc. Take the trouble to learn about at least one of these people and adopt them for prayer intercession on an on-going basis.
2. Send them a card. Not a card “to the victims,” but a card addressed to them using their own name. Tell them that you are praying for them and that you care about them. Then, in a couple of months, send another card. Next Christmas, send them a Christmas card. Lift them up as long as they are down.
3. Consider doing an altar society bake sale or a Knights candy sale and using the proceeds to help pay the medical expenses of this one person you have adopted.
4. Write corporations such as Nike who have an interest in the Marathon and ask them to also start a matching donation fund for the victims’ on-going medical expenses.
5. Put activities in place that we will follow after each one of these tragedies. We may need to set up atrocity prayer chains that we activate every time another one of these things happens.
The important thing is to stop wringing our hands and asking “How could this happen?” We need to get on with the business of taking care of each other in the aftermath.
Here is the video I spoke of earlier. Notice that the person holding the camera is in shock, but he keeps on filming. I would guess that the people who were moving barricades were in shock, too. But they didn’t flinch and they didn’t run away. That’s what Americans do when the going gets tough.
You can donate to the survivors here. Be sure to indicate that you want your donation to go to the Boston Marathon bombing survivors.