Finding the Helpers

It’s been a bit over a week since the events in Parkland, Florida. To be honest, I’m struggling with the thought that the bad in our society outweighs the good and there’s nothing we can do about it. Grief and mourning are both completely appropriate reactions to tragedy, and I don’t mean to downplay the importance of acknowledging and experiencing those emotions. I often fixate on disasters and miss victories, though, which is often more painful than productive.

As Fred Rogers, one of my heroes, said: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in 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.” Taking his advice, I’ve made a list of some current helpers. Check it out:

Source: Wikimedia Commons. Description: a black and white image of Fred Rogers smiling at the camera while putting on a coat.

Source: Wikimedia Commons. Description: a black and white image of Fred Rogers smiling at the camera while putting on a coat.

Students from fifty schools in Florida and many more across the country staged walkouts on Wednesday to compel legislators to create laws that would reduce the risk of future school shootings.

Students are also organizing future protests to advocate for stricter gun laws and safer schools. These include the National School Walkout on March 14, March for our Lives (a march that will take place both in Washington, DC, and across the globe via sister marches) on March 24, and the National High School Walkout on April 20.

Source: Maryland GovPics on Flickr. Description: children and adults hold protest signs at the Rally to Prevent Gun Violence in Annapolis, MD.

Source: Maryland GovPics on Flickr. Description: children and adults hold protest signs at the Rally to Prevent Gun Violence in Annapolis, MD.

George and Amal Clooney, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, and Oprah Winfrey have pledged to donate a collective total of $2,000,000 to help support March for our Lives. 

Frederick Joseph, a New York resident, created the #BlackPantherChallenge, which has raised over $620,000 to help kids see Black Panther this month.

Lupita Nyong’o also joined the challenge. With her mom’s help, she sponsored 600 kids in her hometown of Kisumu, Kenya to see the movie. Lupia wrote about the event on her Instagram account, saying, “I wanted kids from my hometown to see the positive images reflected in the film and superheroes that they can relate to on the big screen.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons. Description: Lupita Nyong’o smiles while sitting behind a mic during a “Black Panther” panel at San Diego Comic Con.

Source: Wikimedia Commons. Description: Lupita Nyong’o smiles while sitting behind a mic during a “Black Panther” panel at San Diego Comic Con.

Drake created a music video for his song “God’s Plan” comprised of clips showing him giving away the music video’s entire $996,631.90 budget to people across Miami, Florida. Drake wrote about the experience on Instagram, referring to it as “[t]he most important thing I have ever done in my career.”

Jesse Jones, a Seattle news reporter, and KIRO 7, his news station, bought and forgave the medical debt of 1,000 people in Washington.

Now that you’ve read my list, I’d love to read yours. Who are the helpers and what is the good you’re seeing in the world? Plenty of people are working to make a difference in their communities; let’s recognize the impact they’re making.

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Caitlin Foskey
“Rock On!”

Caitlin Foskey

Caitlin is a freelance writer and editor serving clients from her home in the Pacific Northwest. When she’s not behind a computer, Caitlin is busy refining her baking skills, trying to cultivate an appreciation for weightlifting, and still playing Pokemon Go.

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