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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

To Boston, With Love: Sending Cards to First Responders

My heart goes out to the Boston marathoners and spectators, their loved ones, the first responders, the staff of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, and Brigham & Women's Hospital, and the entire city of Boston. I won't pretend that I can even begin to understand the pain, grief, and anger they feel right now.

We have seen too many senseless, massive tragedies recently; that goes without saying.

First there is the initial shock and denial: "What happened?," and "That couldn't happen." Then the heartache sets in as we realize the enormity and severity of the nightmare. We see images of those who were injured. Maimed. Killed. We despair in the deranged darkness that has seemingly overcome humanity. But we also see the embraces of loved ones reuniting, and there is hope.  We see the bravery of heroes helping others, and we remember there are still good people out there.

Next come the what-ifs. What if my friend had crossed the finish line twenty minutes later than she did? What if that had happened here, in my city? What if my kids and my parents had been waiting at the finish line while my husband and I finished our run (just like we did in September)? What if my boys were in critical condition at Boston Children's Hospital right now?

Then come the unstoppable tears because we come to the conclusion that there is no way to guarantee the safety of our loved ones in this world.

So we hug a little tighter. We say, "I love you," a little more frequently. We are grateful for the time we have with those we love. We try to carry out small acts to remind everyone around us that there are good people in the world. And the good guys always win.

Those small acts of kindness are the basis behind 26 Acts of Kindness, a movement started by Ann Curry of NBC News in honor of the victims of Newtown, Connecticut.

26 Acts of Kindness posted a request on their Facebook page for cards or handwritten letters to show love and support to the Boston community. If you have been asking, "What can I do?," then please consider sending some kind words. 26 Acts of Kindness will forward the cards and letters to the Boston community. Cards and letters may be sent to:

26 Acts of Kindness
PO Box 185083
Hamden, CT 06518
Choosing stickers to decorate some cards.
You may also send cards and handwritten letters directly to some of the first responders who proved that there are superheroes among us:

Boston Fire Department
Attn: Chief of Department
115 Southampton Street
Boston, MA 02118

Boston Police Headquarters
Attn: Commissioner Edward Davis
1 Schroeder Plaza
Boston, MA 02120-2010

EMS Headquarters
Attn: Chief of Department Jim Hooley
785 Albany Street
Boston, MA 02118

Massachusetts General Hospital
Department of Emergency Medicine
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

Boston Children's Hospital
Attn: Division of Emergency Medicine
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Brigham and Women's Hospital
Attn: Chairman, Emergency Medicine
75 Francis Street
Neville House
Boston, MA 02115

If you want help beyond greeting cards, check out these suggestions from USA Today. While the Red Cross has what it needs to support this tragedy both financially and with an adequate local blood supply, the Red Cross web site offers other suggestions for those who want to provide additional support.

There is a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. that feels appropriate right now: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" These are just a few ideas of how we can help those dealing with this tragedy in Boston. Please Post a Comment with your suggestions of other ways to help.

As always, thanks for reading.

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