There has been a public outpouring of sympathy, compassion, and support following the devastating attacks on Paris last Friday night, all over the globe. And while showing solidarity by sharing a hashtag or adding a filter to your profile picture shouldn't be shortchanged or overlooked, the people of Paris need more than memes to combat the devastation left in the attack's wake.
As a global community, we can all feel helpless at times of tragedy -- especially when it happens halfway around the world. But there are many way you, as an individual, can directly contribute to the healing process, right now:
(Note: Some of these sites, naturally, are in French. Google Translate is a viable option, and should get the sites to the point where you can comprehend most of the information)
- Donate directly to Croix-Rouge, the French Red Cross, which has deployed hundreds of volunteers throughout Paris, and has set up emergency centers for relief.
- You can donate blood directly if you live in certain areas. Check out Don du Sang à Paris for more detailed information on how and where you can help.
- Aside from national/international organizations, there are several local charities you can directly donate to, online. Secours populaire française and Cecours Catholique-Caritas France are two established French charities, dedicated to assisting the impoverished and those affected by tragedy.
- Restaurants du Cœur, roughly translating to Restaurants of Love, take your donations and deliver fresh meals to those in need.
- You can find other specific charities, and verify them as legitimate, using sites like Charity Navigator -- to ensure your money goes exactly where you want it to.
- If you are staying in Paris, or know someone that has a home there, you can open your home as a "safe space" for those in need, through AirBnB.
- Support France through your purchases: make a concerted effort to buy French products, or if you have the means, even plan a trip to Paris, when possible. Terrorism, by it's design, is intended to instill fear. By giving your money to France in the form of tourism, you show that you stand with the country, and prove that the sense of fear the terrorists meant to invoke, won't affect the French economy or the country's ethos in general. The City of Lights remains one of the most beautiful places you can visit, and now, more than ever, it's paramount to appreciate it's place in the world.
Wil Fulton is a Staff Writer for Thrillist. Follow him @wilfulton
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