What you need to know about the Brussels attacks — and what you can do to help
Our hearts are aching because, earlier today, Brussels experienced a series of ISIS-related terror attacks that killed at least 34 people and left over 100 injured. It is currently reported that there were three explosions – two at a Zaventem-based airport and one at the Maelbeek subway station in the city center.
In the wake of this heartbreaking tragedy, all nearby flights are being diverted and Brussels’ entire metro system has been shut down. Trains going to and from the region have also been cancelled by Eurostar. The Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles Michel, addressed the entire tragedy by tweeting, “I strongly condemn these hateful attacks. Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families. We stand united against terrorism.”
In response, the world has collectively reached a comforting hand out to the people of Brussels. As they did with the hashtag #PrayforParis and #JeSuisParis, many are now utilizing #PrayForBelgium and #JeSuisBruxelles to show their support. These topics are trending across all social media platforms.
Now, the question is: what can we do to help?
According to Teen Vogue, if you live in the Brussels area, you can use the hashtag #ikwilhelpen (meaning “I want to help”) to offer those in need shelter, transportation, and even WiFi to allow them to find a safe location. There is also the Brussels Lift account, which aims to connect drivers with those who require a ride somewhere.
The Red Cross has reached out to the public asking for blood donations. If you live in Belgium and are over the age of 18, you can use this search engine to find a nearby transfusion center. They have also organized volunteers to help in any way they can. You can also donate to the Belgium Red Cross here (note: the page is in French).
If you do not live in Belgium or the surrounding area, you can donate to the Community Help Service: a 24/7 crisis Helpline that provides emotional support to those suffering from trauma. This organization is located in Brussels and fully relies on volunteers for help.
If you live in the U.S., visit the Brussels Terror Attack Victims Fund on GoFundMe and make a donation (it’s simple and easy!).
It is also important to remember that two other locations have recently experienced terror attacks: Turkey and Nigeria. To help these victims, you can visit the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Even if you are unable to donate your time or money, you can still take the time to show your support on social media. As of right now, #BrusselsAttacks is the top trending hashtag.