In midst of tragedy, citizens are staying positive

By Duke Staff


“Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

This quote from one of Pittsburgh’s greatest legends, Mr. Rogers, refers to what his mother would tell him when he was a boy seeing the many “scary things” happening in the news.

The world today is unfortunately no better, with disturbing things occurring on every inch of the Earth every single day. The latest of such incidents, the mass shooting in Las Vegas, happened this past Sunday night and is now the deadliest shooting in American history, killing 59 and injuring 527 more revelers attending a country music festival.

As Mr. Rogers alluded to, it’s very easy to get caught up in all the horror and heartbreak happening every day. However, it’s incredibly important to resist the urge to focus on the negative and instead pay attention to the many positives coming out of these disturbing times.

Take, for example, the thousands of people in Las Vegas who have been donating blood since the morning after the shooting, including both area locals as well as those visiting from places as far as Venezuela, Switzerland and China, according to Reuters. They have taken the situation and turned it into a chance to benefit the world by helping many of their peers live to see another day.

There is also the fundraiser started by a government official from Las Vegas that raised over $2 million for the tragedy’s victims in just 12 hours. Its original goal of $2.5 million has been raised to $10 million and is already almost complete, with almost $9 million being raised by about 70,000 people just two days after it first launched on GoFundMe.

But the Vegas shooting is not the only disaster of late that people are trying to help. The Roberto Clemente Museum on Penn Avenue will be hosting another fundraiser event on Oct. 8 to raise donations to help aid disaster relief in Puerto Rico, the home country of the museum’s namesake. This is an incredibly touching move in light of the U.S.’s general ignoring of the humanitarian crisis that the island’s 3.4 million people currently face.

As these people and organizations are showing, in this great time of need, it is vital to not only look for the helpers but to also become a helper. Terrible events happen all the time, but sitting around and feeling sad will do nothing to solve them — and neither will sending thoughts and prayers to those in need via social media posts.

Turn to national news organizations such as NPR and the NYT to stay informed at all times. Do a little bit of research to find charities that are active and on-the-ground helping people, especially those in minority communities. Give them your money, any supplies they need or even offer your own time. Because now is not the time to be immobilized into inaction but to make moves toward action.