“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the last several weeks, we have seen one tragedy after another, leaving us all reeling in heartbreak. I know all of us have thought about what we could do to help the survivors of these tragedies, as well as our local communities.

I did not grow up in one area; I moved around quite a bit throughout my childhood and my life. There was one good thing that came from that, I learned to identify with many different people. It’s always been my intention to raise my daughters to be strong, kind, intelligent, independent, open-minded, and tolerant people, who will stand up for others. Telling them what to do is not enough, they have to see it. I believe with all of my heart the only way to facilitate change is by example. I know that one person might not make much of a difference, but one spark can light a fire.

Her View From Home is a beautiful community, with wonderful writers. All of our hearts ache for the families of Alton Sterling, and Philando Castile. Communities everywhere are reeling over the hate and negativity flying all over the media, on both sides. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the police officers in Dallas. Our world is in a fragile state right now. Everyone is looking at everyone else, waiting for them to make another move in the wrong direction.

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”―Paulo Coelho 

Local police departments could use a bit of extra support as they continue to go to work every day. Just as the families of the victims of the shootings still need support. So many lives have been wrongly taken, on both sides. I feel it is time to heal, time to breathe, time to love, time to spread kindness to one another; not more hate. Perhaps you don’t have the money to donate. Send a card, a letter, a drawing from your children. Drop off a plate of cookies or lunch to your local police department, your community centers, your churches, your fire departments, and hospitals. All of our communities have doers and helpers out there working hard every day, and I just want to show support.

I have put together a list for some sites to donate, as well as some addresses to send cards, drawings, and letters to, in case you are unable to send donations.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”―Nelson Mandela

To donate to Alton Sterling’s family.

To donate to Philando Castile’s family.

To donate to Black Lives Matter. 

To participate in the upcoming Black Lives Matter Omaha Table Talk. If you live in other communities, there are local upcoming events.

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” ―Eleanor Roosevelt

To donate to the Support Dallas Police Department. To Support Dallas Police Officers Assistance.

Support Dallas Shooting Victims.

Assist the Officer, 1412 Griffin Street East, Dallas, TX 75215

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps through hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”―Maya Angelou

Omaha Police Department Website

Omaha Police Department:  South 15th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68102

Kearney Police Department Website

Kearney Police Department/Buffalo County Law Enforcement Center: 2025 Avenue A, Kearney, NE 68848 

Denver Police Department Website

Denver Police Department, District 6: 1566 Washington Street, Denver, Colorado  80203

New York City Police Department Website

List of New York City Precincts.

Washington D.C. Police Department Website

Third District Station: 1620 V Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009

“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”―Mahatma Gandhi

To Donate to the Pulse Victims of the Orlando shooting.

Victim service center of Central Florida.

To send cards: Victim Service Center, 2111 East Michigan Street, Suite 210, Orlando, Florida 32806

*I wrote this article with the intention to spread peace and love, not to draw attention to one side or the other. All of these families, these communities could use our help,  and our love, even if all you have to give is a card or a letter.*

“More flags are flying, kindness is spreading, and love is winning. Let’s keep it going, and pay it forward!”-Sarah Svendsen Luke, Writer -Her View From Home

Trish Eklund

Trish Eklund is a 40-something mom of two, a lover of words, a photographer of the abandoned, and a co-parent with her blended family. She has been a Nebraska transplant for the last 17 years. Learn more about Trish at her blended family website, http://familyfusioncommunity.com/ and her photography website, http://abandonedforgottendecayed.com/, and the Huffington Post Divorce Page. Her abandoned photography has been featured on Only in Your State-Nebraska. Trish Eklund has an essay, Happy Endings, in the anthology, Hey, Who’s In My House? Stepkids Speak Out by Erin Mantz.