By Rande Archer
There are many ways to respond to a terrorist attack. You can lash out, and hurt those that hurt you as with the case of the surgical strikes the French Airforce carried out two days after the attacks against key ISIS strongholds in Syria or the numerous counter-terrorist raids that have been dispatched in their own country. But lashing out brings more negativity and violence to such already violent events, we as common people should look at how we can help those already affected by this tragic event and bring some light to a dark situation. Luckily there are ways to do so.
Although it has been five days since the attack, our brothers and sisters in France and Lebanon would still benefit and appreciate any help we can send their way. Since Louisiana is a state that’s steeped in deep French culture, history, and traditions it seems appropriate that we do so. Hopefully this assembled list will provide the information for those looking to help to be able to help.
Social media has helped many in the past week since the attacks in Paris. Following the attack, the French government shut down its borders and cancelled several flights leaving many destined for France stranded in the United States. Using the hashtag #strandedinUS, American citizens and French nationals stuck took to the web to seek out ways to overcome being stuck in the United States. Although it has been a week, many still could be stuck. AirBNB took a similar approach and offered free stays to French nationals who were stuck in the US, however that offer only lasted until the last check-in for this, which was Tuesday. In addition, several phone companies as well as Skype are offering free calls to France to call and comfort friend, family, or loved ones in France. If you have friends residing in France give them a call. A simple call can go a long way, but be sure to check with your service provider to see when these offers end.
Another way to give to those in need is to provide a donation. Disaster relief efforts often carried out by volunteer groups dig deep into their budgets. Often going towards medical supplies, these disasters eat up money fast and can dictate how many people these groups can send out and how much aid. A donation can relieve some of this budgetary stress, and even a dollar can go a long way. Giving what you can in this time has the potential to help many, and here are some organizations that are currently helping in Paris and Beirut and could use some help themselves. Since some addresses are in French, please run them through the Google translation app if you do not speak French.
French Red Cross: Currently on a high-alert status, the French Red Cross has deployed an estimated 300 volunteers to the Paris area to help with the fallout of the attacks.
Providing medical care and support for victims, their donation page can be found at this address: https://soutenir.croix-rouge.fr/
French Popular Relief: Another French organization that is helping with the attacks, this organization provides material help. Their donation page can be found here: https://www.secourspopulaire.fr/don#.Vko_CqQhUfq
Restaurants of Love: A food based French aid organization, they provide meals to those in need. https://dons.restosducoeur.org/b/mon-don
Friends of Fondation de France: An American public charity of the French philanthropy group, donations made in honor of the victims of Fridays attacks will go toward the Fonds du 11 Janvier Fund, which was established by Fondation de France to help the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks that occurred back in January. This donation page can be found here: https://www.nycharities.org/give/donate.aspx?cc=1598
Doctors Without Borders: An organization founded to help all those in need, even those in third-world nations. Although they help in Lebanon, a donation will go a long way as their area of responsibility extends far beyond the middle-east. Their donation page can be found here: https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/onetime.cfm
Save the Children: The attacks in Lebanon were not the first and won’t be the last. This organization aims to better the lives of the children afflicted by such travesties. Their donation page can be found here: http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.6153137/k.C268/Lebanon.htm
Mercy Corps: An organization that provides relief to various Middle Eastern countries, Lebanon is among one of their areas of responsibility. In addition to assisting refugees, they provide assistance to terrorist attack victims. Their donation page can be found here: https://www.mercycorps.org/ways-to-help
Islamic Relief USA: An American organization that focuses on providing assistance and relief to disasters all over the world. In addition to Lebanon, they have provided assistance to Pakistan and Afghanistan after the earthquake that hit last month. Their donation page can be found here: https://secure2.convio.net/irusa/site/SPageNavigator/emergency.html? _ga=1.40188450.1076535096.1447709252
American Near East Refugee Aid: Another American relief organization, this one focuses on relief in the middle east, providing care and relief to disaster and terrorist attack victims. Their donation page can be found here: http://www.anera.org/ways-to-donate/