5 Ways You Can Personally Help The Victims Of Parkland, Florida's School Shooting

5 Ways You Can Personally Help The Victims Of Parkland, Florida's School Shooting

The shooting of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was not just a tragedy to America, but to the families of those lost too.
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On February 14, 2018, while most of America was celebrating Valentine's day with kisses, hugs and exchanges of gratitude, the community of Parkland, Florida was grieving over the events that had took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, that would claim the lives of 17 innocent victims. The school shooting left the Florida community heartbroken; but also inspired action and movement to be taken by parents, children and legislators for another similar event to be stopped in the future.

SEE ALSO: To Marco Rubio And Politicians Paid By The NRA, We Will Stop Your Game Of Russian Roulette With Gun Control

At a standstill, we still argue whether gun reform is breaking constitutional rights and if mental illness is the cause, while the opposite spectrum argue in favor of restriction, abolishment and safety protocols. Whether or not we are able to come to a conclusion, helping the families of the victims is number one priority. Those who lost their lives in the tragedy were victims of a bigger problem in society. It is up to us to help those left behind in wake of the tragedy; the true victims who have to not only fight the grief of the loss of their loved ones, but society, too, in order to change to occur.


1. Help those hurt from the shooting by donating blood.

Along with the casualties, many were hurt from flying glass and from ducking for cover and were injured in the process. Teams like the organization One Blood have come together to host blood drives to collect blood and help those hurt in the tragedy.

This is a great way for those distant from the attack to still be able to help out, whether it may be from participating in a blood drive nearby or simply sending a donation towards their cause. Though we can not save the 17 who died, by donating blood, you can increase the chances of the other victims' survival.

2. Help stop another potential shooting by voicing your opinion to Congress.

Sadly, the Parkland shooting is the 30th mass shooting of 2018, emphasizing the importance of action needed to be taken now rather than later. Though total restriction of heavy firearms may be difficult, by voicing your opinion to your Congress member, you are able to at least shed importance and recognition to this rising issue in order to prevent such an event repeating itself.

SEE ALSO: I Was There During The Northview High School Shooting Scare, And I Feel Traumatized

If stronger background checks are placed before selling a gun, this would make it increasingly difficult for those who shouldn't possess firearms to get hold of them. As time moves, more followers and supporters can be gained to reach the full intention of total abolishment. But a first push is needed to move mountains.

To find out who represents you in Congress, click here and contact them using this online forum.

3) Help stop another shooting by becoming politically active and march for gun control.

Across the country on March 14, students and teachers are participating in walk-outs, when for 17 minutes, they will leave school and honor those who died. Participating would draw attention from higher authorities and shine light to the importance and true foundations of the issue: school and safety protocols.

We have failed to see that the killers who cause such events begin and grow within our school system — they also learn all the safety protocols and drills, which can be easily bypassed as seen in Parkland. A "fire drill" turned deadly is just one of the reasons why it's necessary that schools update their safety standards to protect students within such dangerous situations. If you are not within the school system, you can still march for gun reform and reform within the educational system as rallies are being organized on a national scale to pressure Congress for change.

You can find a rally near you through going to States United to Prevent Gun Violence and finding your home state. From here, you'll be able to find and know where grassroots organizations are taking place around you and exactly how you can participate.

4. Help the victims by donating to the official Parkland Victims' GoFundMe page.

There has been an official fund, marked by GoFundMe and backed by a trustable non-profit organization, made for the Parkland victims to help cover the costs of their funerals and help the 17 grieving families who have lost their children, fathers and mothers. So far, it has raised almost $1.7 million dollars for the families, showing the power we hold and influence we can create whether or not we are able to be there in person. If distance is a factor, simply donating can go a long way.

5. Most importantly, help out through talking and spreading the word about reforming gun possession.

Tragedies are hard for anyone to manage through, emotionally and mentally, so it is also important to talk about what was witnessed and share your thoughts with professional counselors or people you trust. This way, you're not only recovering from the grief in a healthy manner, but you're also spreading ideas and getting the word out about restriction of firearms, which can be a touchy topic. Especially with children, who are most vulnerable as they do not realize the danger, it is important to emphasize that guns are not toys and explain the idea of death, if the child is old enough.

SEE ALSO: As A Georgia Northview High School Student, I Feared For Our Lives When A Shooter Threatened To Attack

Spreading awareness spreads safety, concern and increases the importance of why we need to discuss such topics. Without discussion, change can not be put into place within society, which sadly creates the opportunity for such a sad event to occur again.


Rest in peace to all victims of the Florida High School Shooting. May their families find comfort in their loved ones being in a better place; may justice be served to all guilty parties.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter | TasteOfCountry

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Social Control

According to Merriam Webster, social control is "the rules and standards of society that circumscribe individual action through the inculcation of conventional sanctions and the imposition of formalized mechanisms." Social norms, rules, laws, and structures within a society are just a few of the methods that keep our society "in-line".

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Informal vs Formal

There are two types of social control. There is informal social control which is enforced by family, peers, teachers, etc. and is often referred to as "socialization". Informal social control refers to values, norms, and belief systems of a society. Then there is formal social control which is enforced by the government through police and military. Formal social control refers to laws of society and topics such as terrorism.

For more information regarding informal and formal social control, check out: Definition of Social Control


Positive Social Control

Positive social control is related to the idea of getting rewarded for good work, rather than be hurt for doing something wrong.

For example, you will be given a raise at work if you prove you deserve it, but you will not be tortured if you don't take that extra step. Socialization is the primary way that social order is kept, and is a perfect example of positive social control. There is also a physical organization to society that keeps everything in harmony. Traffic signals, paved roads, and crosswalks are just a few examples of how physical additions to our everyday lives work together to avoid conflict.

There are many benefits that come along with positive social control as well. Raises, bonuses, and praise are all rewards that come along with following rules and norms.


Negative Social Control

Negative social control is related to the idea of discrimination and/or shame. It uses harsh punishment, torture, pressure, and/or threats to keep the peace and order rather than rewarding good behavior.

For example, Hitler used violence and discrimination to keep the Jews "under control" during the Holocaust.

For more information regarding positive and negative social control, check out: Types of Social Control Formal & Informal, Positive & Negative


Examples of Social Control

Religious Social Control

People who follow a religion tend to develop morals and behavior patterns based on what their religion preaches. These people will avoid committing crimes, hate-speech, or anything else their religion deems as "sinful" in order to avoid punishment during or after their death. Many people tend to believe that religion was created with the sole purpose to control people and keep the social order, while dedicated followers beg to differ.


Economic Social Control

Economic social control is attainable by controlling production or controlling an entire society through their economics (cutting off food supplies, stealing from the poor, etc.) Richer people and industrialists tend to control the lower class and their consumers through status and money.

Wealth = Power


Political Social Control

Political social control is the most influential type of social control. The government regulates money, sources and supplies, the laws, police forces, and many more which when put all together becomes social control. The government balances every aspect of what creates harmony and peace within a society, protecting the people from anarchy.

For more information regarding examples of social control, check out:: Social Control: Meaning, Types and Unfavourable Effect

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