What words can describe the horror of Las Vegas?
We were driving through the mountains Sunday night without any cell coverage on the way to a college campus visit and didn’t hear of it till the middle of a class I got to sit in. It was an Intro to Media Writing– intro to writing news stories– and the Prof brought up the Vegas story as an example of how reporting works in the middle of a crisis. There I read the words.
Worst mass shooting in the United States.
As if everything wasn’t already bad enough, the numbers have risen from yesterday morning. 59 dead and 525 wounded.
There are only a few words that can describe this horror:
I’ve often felt that, after a personal tragedy, the world keeps truckin’ on, completely uncaring. That doesn’t have to be–not here, not now, not with this. People, no matter who you are, there are many ways we can help the victims of Las Vegas heal.
Prayer. Prayer is something that everyone can do. From our prayer in the classroom for the victims to the prayer of a pastor to the prayer of a little child, all of them count. We can pray for physical and emotional healing for the victims, and comfort for those who were at the Strip. We can pray for the emergency workers and the first responders that they would have physical strength and clarity of mind and that when they go home, they can sleep peacefully without being haunted by what they have witnessed. We can pray for the shooter’s family, who had no idea of what was being planned, and yet will carry the burden of his act for the rest of their lives. We can pray for the counselors that will be trying to help people process this horror.
Donate blood. If you are able, doing this could actually save a life. There are several locations listed by @ShadyBob for people near Las Vegas. Also, you can quickly search Google for places to donate. Even if you don’t live by Vegas, this is still a great time to donate blood as the Red Cross can ship blood across the country. Look for blood drives here.
Donate money. Several charities are taking up donations for the Las Vegas shooting. Definitely make sure that they are legit before donating, but don’t hesitate to give! Also, there is a GoFundMe page set up by the Clark County Commission Chair from Las Vegas to raise “funds to assist the victims of the tragic Las Vegas shooting.” If you are unable to provide blood or something, this is a perfect way to help out. You can find the GoFundMe here.
Comfort. If you know a victim or a victim’s family, you have a unique opportunity to help. You can physically comfort them– bring them food so they don’t have to cook, write encouraging notes, pray directly with them, sit with them, listen to them. You can help them in ways that the rest of us never can. To those of you who don’t know a family, you can come beside them in comfort through blog posts, Facebook posts, and tweets.
There is something here that each and every one of us can do. Whether you are a high school student like me, or an “adult,” whether you have a high-paying job or low-paying job, whether you know anyone in Vegas or not, you can help. This is not a time to idly watch. This is a time to act, to come together as a nation, as one body for one purpose. This is a catastrophe, full of devastation, and there is no way to downplay that. Yet this calamity can make us stronger, more compassionate, and impact our country as a whole to make us more sensitive.