Saturday, July 21, 2012

Salt Water Saturday: Tragedy in Colorado

In my lifetime, there have been many tragedies in American history - on American soil. Some were acts of random violence, some were pure accidents, and others were acts of terrorism. With all of these events, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news. 

From the shootings in Columbine, to the bombing in Oklahoma City, the Space Shuttle Columbia blowing up over Texas on a Saturday morning, to the 9-11 disaster in NY, DC and a field in PA...none of these directly happened to me, but all hurt my heart as if they did. 

Today we are all hurting for the people of the Aurora and Denver metro area. Today we all hurt as Americans. We wonder - what drives someone to be so evil? How could a person - a fellow American citizen, at that - want to harm others in such a horrible manner? The answers are never clear. Sure - it's easy to say the person who allegedly committed this horrible act of violence was crazy. But - was he crazy? Or was he motivated by other factors? These are the things we may never know, and we certainly will probably never understand. 

At times like this, when one lives far away from the disaster area, we tend to feel a little bit helpless. And wonder "what can we do to help"? And more than that - if we send $$ to a cause, do we really know the $$$ will make it's way to those who need it the most?

Last night, I ran across the "Thrive With Confidence Foundation" after reading an article on the Huffington Post. This group is putting together a community gathering, scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday, 7/22/12) at the Thrive Community Recreation Center in Aurora, CO from 1-5pm MDT. They are looking for donations of bottled water, juices, soft drinks, and snacks for the community gathering. The community is getting together to share their feelings and unite in the wake of this tragedy, and begin the healing process. You can visit their Facebook page HERE. Businesses such as Pepsi, McAlister's Deli, Panda Express, and many others have generously offered their support. 

For those of us who aren't in the area, and can't be a part of the gathering - there is a way we can contribute towards the healing process and let the families of those affected know we are thinking about them. The community center and the creator of this event are collecting greeting cards and will be distributing them to the families. What a great way to show our support by sending a few cards. Also, this is a wonderful activity for your children - have them create cards and send for distribution. I am listing the address below:

Thrive Community Recreation Center
Attn: Brad Askren
15528 E. Hampden Circle
Aurora, CO 80013

Of course, if you're reading and are from the area - I know the organizers would appreciate your support tomorrow! If you own a business and arrive with a donation, they would greatly appreciate it. If not, just show up and stand united with others in your community who are hurting.

We will never understand why this happened, but this much I do know. There are no guarantees in life. Live every day as if it could be your last. Hold on to those you love, and tell them you love them. Don't assume they "know" - it might have been a while since you last told them. 

With all of my love, prayers and support for everyone in the Aurora area...let the healing begin. 

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