Feeling Hopeless? Here Are 5 Ways to Help After the Las Vegas Tragedy.

Across the U.S., people started their days to news of the worst mass shooting in modern American history. Early Monday morning, at least 58 people lost their lives and another 500 were injured after a gunman began shooting at an outdoor concert at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. 

If this news makes you feel hopeless, you are not alone. Today was difficult for all of us, individually and as a nation. This pain will take time to heal, so be kind to yourself as well as your peers.

As further news related to Monday’s shooting unfolds in your newsfeed throughout the next week, know that you don’t have to read every story or do anything that might jeopardize your own well-being.

Once you’re ready, here are five ways you can make a difference for those affected by the tragedy in Las Vegas.

1. Donate Blood

Nevada hospitals, as well as the city’s sheriff, are asking people in the state to donate blood. Even if you live out of state, donating blood can still help those injured, as blood is often sent to places in need after tragedies and natural disasters.

To find a blood donation center near you, visit United Blood Services

2. Make a Donation

Whether it’s one dollar or 100, every little bit helps. In less than 24 hours, the Las Vegas’ Victims Fund has raised more than $1.6 million thanks to donations from around 20,000 people. If you want, you can donate to the fund mentioned above, the National Compassion Fund or organizations in the area.

3. Give Your Time

Earlier on Monday, Mandalay Bay Resort put a call out for trained trauma counselors, asking those qualified to donate their services. Within a few hours, they had enough counselors for the day, but the effects of today’s tragedy will be felt beyond Monday. If you are a trained professional in Las Vegas, follow up with Mandalay Bay Resort over the next few days and see if they need additional support or offer your services to other community organizations in the area.

If you feel moved to do more, sign up today to become a certified crisis counselor. Many hotlines and hospitals look for volunteers — whom they then train — to help out with crises and in emergencies. If you want to help out on a more regular basis, the Crisis Text Line operates a 24/7 crisis line, where people can give — as well as receive — just by texting.

4. Call Your Representatives

For those saying now isn’t the time for politics: it’s possible to call your representatives while grieving. The two aren’t exclusive, nor should they be.

You can find your representatives and their phone numbers here. For those who are phone-shy, you can use Resist Bot to fax or mail a message to your representatives.

5. Be Respectful, and Don’t Add to the Chaos

As news organizations gather information about the shooter and his potential motives, lots of conspiracies and speculation are bound to make their way onto the internet. Be respectful of those who may be grieving, and only share news from trusted sources. You don’t have to share every story you see on your newsfeed or read the stories your friends have shared.

Header image via Aj Sanchez on Twitter.

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