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Paris Attacks Update: How and Ways to Help Online Through Facebook, Twitter, and More

( [email protected] ) Nov 16, 2015 02:27 PM EST
After the horrendous Friday the 13th last week, it was good to see people from all over the world giving prayers and support to the people of Paris.  All over the world, many countries showed their support by lighting up buildings with France's national colors in places like New York (The Empire State Building), Wembley Stadium (London), the "Cristo Redentor" statue (Rio de Janeiro), and much more.  U.S. President Barack Obama has stated that "we stand prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance that the government and people of France need to respond", and there are several ways U.S. Citizens can help victims of the Paris Attacks through social media and other ways online.
Jean Julien's Eiffel Tower, now iconic after the Paris Attacks.

After the horrendous Friday the 13th last week, it was good to see people from all over the world giving prayers and support to the people of Paris.  All over the world, many countries showed their support by lighting up buildings with France's national colors in places like New York (The Empire State Building), Wembley Stadium (London), the "Cristo Redentor" statue (Rio de Janeiro), and much more.  U.S. President Barack Obama has stated that "we stand prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance that the government and people of France need to respond", and there are several ways U.S. Citizens can help victims of the Paris Attacks through social media and other ways online. 

According to Bustle, Parisians or anyone staying within the area can offer shelter to anyone in need of a safe place to stay using the Twitter hashtag of #PorteOeuverte (French for Open Door).  With the borders closed, there are a lot of people trapped in France without a place to stay, and there is also a way to connect with the Twitter hashtag #StrandedInUs.  Other hashtags used to support the Parisians were #prayforparis, #paris, #jesuisparis, #france, #prayersforparis, #peace, #pray, #prayfortheworld, #love, and #peaceforparis. 

As every Facebook user is no doubt aware, the social media site is allowing its users to show their solidarity with the people of Paris by overlaying the Tricolore (red, white, and blue).  For those that want to show their support, just find a friend using the "Causes" feature in Facebook to customize your profile picture in your Facebook new feed.  You will see a button in the bottom right-hand side of the box marked "Try It", and this allows you to customize your profile picture by changing its size and repositioning the image underneath the flag colors. 

Many have been tweeting an image of the Eiffel Tower as an image in a peace sign.  This simple image was created by a London artist named Jean Julien, with a simple message of "Peace for Paris" and it went quickly viral, according to Today News.  According to Time, more than 70 million people from 200 million countries took to Instagram to share their support and prayers for the French capital. 

For those that want to be involved with the relief and support efforts, Syracuse has a list of websites that include Doctors Without Borders, French Red Cross, International Red Cross, Restaurants du Coeur (French organization that gives food to the needy), Secours Populaire Francais (French aid organization that helps victims of insecurity, poverty, natural disasters, and conflicts), Secours Catholique-Caritas France (Catholic relief organization that provides food, supplies, and aid to those in need). 

In addition to the many methods of showing support online, an article by Forbes by Ron Carucci talks about how to deal with the issues with one's co-workers and colleagues.  Carucci worked with an NYC company that lost over 300 employees after the 9/11 attacks, and he discusses how to participate in and guide sensitive conversations likely to unfold as "people try to make sense of the senseless".