Personal Experience

Look for the helpers – Fred Rogers

“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.”

-Fred Rogers

This is one of my favourite quotes of all time. It’s one that I hold close to my heart whenever the news is full of terrorism, natural disasters, and other horror stories. Because for each one of those events, there are hundreds to thousands to millions of people helping repair the damage, heal injured, and giving to those affected. So today I’m going to try and spread a bit more of that possibility, while also helping those who want to become one of these helpers.

Hurricane Harvey

Mexican bakers spend time trapped baking bread for other victims

Stuck for two days, these bakers spent all of that baking loaves of bread to feed those displaced by the floods.

Emergency responders working all hours of the day to rescue and protect victims

This Texas deputy worked 12 hours straight wading through high waters and carrying people to safety until his body physically couldn’t do it anymore.

Businesses converted their production to help those in need instead

Gallery Furniture opened their showroom as a shelter to those made homeless by Harvey.
Budweiser halted production of beer in favour of canning drinking water for the people in shelters without access to water.

Notable donations:

  • Wal-mart = $20 million in cash and products
  • Verizon = $10 million
  • Miley Cyrus = $500 000
  • Sandra Bullock = $1 million
  • Drake = $200 000
  • Leonardo DiCaprio = $1 million
  • Apple = $2 million and matching 2 to 1
  • Kevin Hart = $50 000 and call to action aimed at celebrities
  • and dozens more


How you can help:

  • Do not donate to Red Cross – they are unorganized and often don’t actually forward all money donated to the cause it was meant to be used for
  • CNN’s Impact Your World site – you can find ways to donate money and time here
  • Donate blood
  • Donate goods to help those living in shelters – they are looking for tools, cleaning supplies, face masks, and other things to help with relief

Hurricane Irma/Maria

Couple donates catering from cancelled wedding to victims

When Jessica Jean Williamson and Alex Arteaga’s wedding venue was ruined by the hurricane, they instead donated the taco bar to a local shelter

Starbucks still paying employees who can’t work

The coffee giant is offering catastrophic pay to those whose homes and/or workplaces were destroyed.

JetBlue capping flight prices to allow more to evacuate

The airline is strictly limited the price of tickets and offering free vouchers to cities most effected.

Notable donations:

  • Jennifer Lopez = $1 million to Puerto Rico and multiple calls to action
  • Apple = $8 million total
  • Disney = $2.5 million
  • PayPal = $200 000 total and a campaign to raise more
  • Wells Fargo = $1.1 million
  • Kristen Bell = volunteered at a shelter and performed to raise money
  • Tim Duncan = $1 million

How you can help:

Earthquakes in Mexico

Civilian volunteers of all ages and professions flood to assist

Grassroots volunteers and donations are collected by the thousands. They say there are more volunteers than affected.

The communities work together to clear rubble

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Frida the Mexican rescue dog

This very good girl is part of the rescue teams still searching for survivors and bodies four days after the quake. She and 14 other rescue dogs can help focus rescue efforts to where there is more likely to be people.

Notable donations:

  • Shawn Mendes = $100 000 and his own campaign for Red Cross
  • Salem Hayek = $100 000 and her own campaign for UNICEF
  • Facebook = $1 million
  • Apple = $1 million
  • Celine Dion = collecting and matching donations at her show in Las Vegas
  • Daddy Yankee = 4 trucks of supplies, donated after his call to action to his fans
  • Miguel Layún and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez = launched campaign online


How you can help:




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