It was the iconic Fred Rogers that told us, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
At Good Good Good, we’ve made that the foundation of our work — to know that even in times of extreme hardship, there are always people looking to do good in the world, people ready to receive the good, and most of us at the intersection of taking action.
This past year has been another “unprecedented” year (ugh), full of overwhelming challenges and large-scale catastrophes. But what keeps us moving forward, what keeps us afloat amidst so many unknowns, is the potential to respond, problem-solve, and care for one another.
2022 ushered in violence and fear — threats to healthcare (the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade), ongoing climate change (climate disasters rocked areas across the globe), political unrest (Russia invaded Ukraine and continues to inflict unrivaled human rights violations) — and so much more.
But in these heartbreaking moments, we cling to hope. We must.
From entertainers using their platforms to help others, and protesters and activists fundraising and speaking out to change the future, to community members providing necessities to their neighbors at war, or leaders fighting to end gun violence — this issue celebrates just a tiny amount of the work at the center of it all.
What we love most about sharing and celebrating good news is that it’s messy and real; it’s full of hope, failure, triumph, and resilience. It helps us step into a new day with the unwavering belief that things do get better.
And it’s helpers like these that solidify this hope. As we step into another year navigating these unparalleled trials — and the enduring humanity that accompanies them — we look to them.
Every year we highlight helpers in a number of categories — and this year we’ve chosen these categories:
- Education Helpers
- LGBTQ+ Helpers
- Art & Media Helpers
- Healthcare Helpers
- Ukraine Helpers
- Gun Safety Helpers
- Climate Helpers
- Equality and Justice Helpers
- Community Helpers
In this post, we’re highlighting Gun Control Helpers and simple ways to make a difference:
Gun Safety Helpers To Know —
Manuel and Patricia Oliver
In 2018, Manuel and Patricia Oliver lost their son, Joaquin, in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
In their healing process, the couple started a nonprofit called Change the Ref (CTR), with the mission of increasing awareness of mass shootings and reducing the public influence of America’s largest gun lobby group, the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Over the years, CTR has worked to empower young leaders by using urban art and nonviolent creative confrontation to expose the effects of mass shootings in America, and demand stricter gun laws.
The latest initiative from CTR is The Yellow Bus Project — a mobile museum made of 52 empty school buses honoring the 4,368 children whose lives have been lost to gun violence since 2020.
While it’s heartbreaking that any demonstrations like this must occur, what the Oliver family is doing is a courageous and creative act of resistance that should be celebrated — literally demonstrating that folks are willing to mobilize towards change.
Fatima Morrell, Ph.D.
After 10 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Buffalo, NYN.Y., supermarket by a white supremacist gunman, Buffalo public school associate superintendent Fatima Morrell, Ph.D. helped her students process by expanding the curriculum around racism.
This included principles such as empathy, diversity, and restorative justice.
“For all our children, we have to unpack white supremacy, as hard as that is to talk about,” Morrell shared with TIME.
“It is important that every single child receives an anti-racist curriculum in the Buffalo public schools, and I’m going to continue to push that.”
Her goal is to engage and empower students by providing lessons about the historical contributions of Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities.
Morrellbegan implementing anti-racism education during the aftermath of the George Floyd murder. She led the charge in training parents, community members, and more than 3,500 teachers on the goals, strategies, and best practices for teaching and supporting students from diverse backgrounds.
She is nationally recognized for her antiracism work.
Angeli Rose Gomez
When word spread throughout the small Uvalde, Texas community that an active shooter was at Robb Elementary School, Angeli Rose Gomez was one of many concerned parents who rushed to the scene.
The mother of two said that while she could hear gunshots, she witnessed minimal law enforcement effort to serve and protect their children.
Her overwhelming frustration briefly landed her in handcuffs. When she was released, Gomez managed to hop over a nearby fence and into the school.
Within minutes, she was able to usher her oldest son and his classmates over to safety, running back inside a second time to do the same for her youngest son and classmates.
While the lack of swift, coordinated communication (not to mention the lack of sensible gun laws in Texas) led to the horrific tragedy that resulted in the loss of 19 elementary students and two teachers there was one determined mother who put her life at risk — twice — to make sure her kids, and their classmates quickly made it to safety.
3 Ways To Fight Gun Violence:
- Learn about the wide-ranging issues surrounding gun violence, particularly how a lack of accountability allows the gun industry to avoid responsibility for its role in gun violence. everytown.org
- Text the word READY to 64433 to get involved with gun reform work where you live, visit Moms Demand Action’s national or state-specific Facebook pages, or follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@momsdemand).
- Take action. Call your senators and members of congress. We’ve got a simple, straightforward script (along with 18 other ways to help you fight gun violence), visit ggg.news/articles/how-to-stop-gun-violence for more!