Reaching out to families in Boston

April 17, 2013

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  • People stand during a vigil honoring the victims of Boston Marathon bombings at the Boston Common in Boston, Massachusetts yesterday. Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton, courtesy Thomson Reuters Foundation - AlertNet

It is impossible to comprehend what happened in Boston on Monday. The loss of human life and the trauma endured by so many are absolutely senseless.

I am personally thinking of those in the city I call home, and all of us in the Mercy Corps family, including our Cambridge office, are sending our sympathies to a community we have been a part of for the last decade.

The proximity of yesterday's tragedy to our homes, our friends and our families makes a deep impact on all of us. We question how this can happen in our world. It is especially shocking for young children, who struggle to understand the fear, anger and sadness this has caused.

That’s why a key part of Mercy Corps’ emergency response work is protecting the youngest victims and helping them process their trauma. For parents and caregivers who are trying to comfort children at this time, we hope you'll find support in these ten tips from Carol Dell'Oliver, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who helped develop many of our Comfort for Kids materials.

Helping kids through crisis: Tips for parents and caregivers ▸

You can also download What Happened to the World?, a book first developed by Bright Horizons, Mercy Corps, JP Morgan Chase and The Dougy Center after 9/11 and adapted as a resource for adults helping children cope with tragedy.

Find the book and other resources at Bright Horizons ▸

As I return from a recent trip to visit Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon and face this unimaginable news in my hometown, I am reminded of how small the world is. Tragedies like these have no boundaries. Today, most of all, let's remember how we can help each other by coming together, one by one, in this time of need.