I’m making a slight departure from our usual writing & reading theme today to make a special plea. The last few weeks have brought a nauseating amount of pain and suffering to multiple parts of the United States and the world, between hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and now the worst mass shooting in US history in Las Vegas, NV. Many of us are angry, frustrated or feeling helpless. We’re all looking for answers, or to our leaders. That’s all well and good but, if you’ll forgive me, there’s no time for navel-gazing right now. People are suffering. We, as authors and public figures, have platforms. Please join me in using those powers for good. Given the perfect storm of events emergency supplies are stretched beyond thin. I can’t be the only one thinking “I HAVE to do something.” So I am. And you can, too. Here’s a handful of organizations that need our help to help others: https://www.oneamericaappeal.org/One American Appeal is an organization established by the 5 living former US Presidents. Cash donations ensure the right help reaches the right people to bring aid to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, all of whom are still reeling and face monumental tasks in providing basic necessities and restoring services to those hardest hit. https://www.redcross.org/ns/apology/disaster_homepage.htmlThere was a nationwide blood shortage before any of these events occurred. Please find a blood drive near you. Giving blood is easy and – I speak from personal experience as a needle-phobe – painless. https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/team/salmaSalma Hayek has started a Crowdrise campaign to provide aid to UNICEF’s relief effort in Mexico following the recent earthquakes. Ms. Hayek will match the first $100,000 in donations. This is but a small sampling of the number of individual and institutional efforts underway to help the millions, yes millions, of people currently impacted. Please give what you can and help spread the word through your social networks, platforms, and professional networks to address the crucial, immediate needs.