I woke up this morning probably like many of you, anxious for more information on the 7.8 earthquake that devastated the region of Nepal. I share my days with my 4-year-old and I am careful to not let too many disturbing images from the cable news networks creep into her world. As the horrors of what happened began to stir me to action, I wondered just how much to share with Ella. There are many resources online on how to share tragedy with children. I debated if just not telling her was the better option. Choosing to let her in on the events, I carefully picked a couple of images to show her.
After we viewed some images of survivor families on the Red Cross website, she asked me why they looked so sad and it opened the gateway to our conversation about the earthquake. Since we live in Los Angeles, she is already well aware of what an earthquake is. She has experienced a small one that shook her bed and scared her. Our family and her preschool have been practicing emergency preparedness. The threat is real here and we take it seriously.
Trying to explain the magnitude of a disaster that felt overwhelming to me as an adult wasn’t what I wanted to focus on. Instead, I asked her what she thought would make the sad little child from the pictures feel better. She told me that she wanted her Nana to make a blanket, just like her special blanket. We could send it there and the baby would hold it and feel better. This really touched me.
Thinking more on how to help, we decided to look at the money in her piggy bank and see what she had to donate. Wanting to share and do even more, I created a GoFundMe.com page, asking others to please help Ella raise money to give to UNICEF, who already has people there in the region helping families.
I had her draw a picture. She chose a flower garden. I filled it out with the words “Help Nepal,” and we chose a UNICEF logo she liked. Ella is just at the age where she wants to help out at home. Involving her with chores and choices helps her confidence grow. She knows about sharing and working together and is learning compassion, too. We are following the news closely and hoping to get enough raised for UNICEF to send those blankets and aid so badly needed. It felt right today, to involve my child in helping the children of Nepal.
Please remember to give to the relief fund of your choice. They will need so much in the coming weeks and months.
Ella’s GoFundMe page is Help the Children of Nepal.