It has been a challenging month for our nation, from natural disasters to acts of unspeakable violence in America. And the Bethany community has not been unscathed.
We had barely begun to recover from the horrific tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, when Hurricane Harvey dumped a U.S. record 52 inches of rain on the Houston, Texas area, killing 82 and destroying thousands of homes in its path.
Then, it was Maria’s turn. The second major hurricane to strike the United States in less than a week has so far killed 34 people and plunged the entire island of Puerto Rico into darkness. Millions are without food, power, or drinking water. And the death toll from this storm is expected to continue rising.
And just this week, the horror of mass violence has been visited upon yet another American city. As of this writing, 59 Americans have been killed and 527 others currently fighting for their lives or recovering from gunshot wounds in the attack in Las Vegas Sunday night. It’s the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, surpassing the shooting at an Orlando nightclub just last year.
Tragically, the Las Vegas attack has touched every corner of the United States, including our Bethany community. There are those among us on campus who knew some of the victims in Las Vegas and who are now enduring this pain in a very personal way. We stand as a community with these special Bethanians and hope that our concern and compassion for them can help ease their suffering in some small way.
So as October brings the beauty and excitement of a new season, let’s remember many people in the United States and the Caribbean are suffering today. Many have lost loved ones. Others have lost their homes. And many have lost everything.
It’s also important to not simply stand as helpless bystanders but to pitch in wherever we can to help others. A number of relief efforts have been created to assist the victims of these terribly tragedies. Any contribution, no matter how small, can help and it reminds those who may feel in darkness that they are not alone.
Below are links to just a few of the many relief efforts available to help those in need.
Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg
Week of Compassion
United for Puerto Rico
One America Appeal
American Red Cross—Hurricane Harvey
American Red Cross—Hurricane Maria
Las Vegas Victims’ Fund