Worthy Causes

If you’ve got the means and are looking for some way to make a positive contribution to a world that needs some positive contributions these days, there are a few causes in the news right now that may merit your special attention.

Starting closer to home, there’s a tragedy that unfolded just yesterday in Portland, where two men were murdered and a third injured by a right-wing terrorist (I see little point in identifying him) on a MAX train. The men stepped in to try to prevent what may have been an unfolding anti-Muslim hate crime and instead became the attacker’s new targets:

Multiple witnesses told KATU the suspect was hurling racial insults at two women, at least one of whom was wearing a hijab. Police wouldn’t confirm their ages, but referred to them as “girls” and “young women.”

Sgt. Pete Simpson with Portland Police added the suspect appeared to be acting erratically and wasn’t necessarily focused on anti-Muslim insults during the attack.

Two men who came to the women’s defense had their throats slashed by the suspect, Simpson said.

There have been GoFundMe pages set up for the two men who were killed, Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, and for the third victim, Micah David-Cole Fletcher. These guys are, by all accounts, genuine heroes, so if you can spare something to help their loved ones and, in Fletcher’s case, his recovery, please do.

Internationally, Sri Lanka has been hit by devastating rains this week, causing flooding and landslides that have killed at least 120 people and displaced half a million or more. The Sri Lankan branch of the Red Cross and Save the Children are two places that have already sent out a call for help.

Between Syria, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, and too many other conflict zones to count, the global refugee problem has never been as serious as it is now, so I would feel strange writing this without also including a link to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, particularly at a time when the current US government is champing at the bit to shut them down. Other places that are always worth a look include Doctors Without Borders and reputable charity recommenders like GiveWell. Have a great holiday weekend!


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