France is in a state of emergency following Thursday’s atrocious attack. At time of writing, 84 people have been confirmed dead with 202 injured and 52 in critical condition after a lorry ploughed into crowds of people enjoying Bastille Day celebrations at the Promenade des Anglais in Nice.
The driver carried on for 1.4 miles, zig-zagging into revellers at around 23:00 local time, and opening fire before he was eventually shot dead by police.
During unimaginable times like these, it can be difficult to think how we could ever possibly do anything that comes close to dulling the pain and anguish following such an attack. But a little can go a long way, and it’s the solidarity of people and acts of kindness that can really help stand up against such atrocities.
If you’re feeling lost and confused about how you can get involved and help survivors of the Nice attack, we've listed some useful resources below.
While no official means have yet been announced for donating aid to help victims in Nice, there are various avenues that one can take to donate money.
Le Croix Rouge: The Red Cross helps in emergencies across the world, mobilising volunteers and offering aid and blood donations. Following last year’s Paris attacks, the American Red Cross stood in solidarity with France, making donations easier. Although, of course, when you donate to the Red Cross your aid will go to the global organisation and not necessarily directly to victims of the Nice attacks. You can donate your chosen amount here.
Give for France: Give for France was launched after the November 2015 Paris attacks. Working in affiliation with the Fondation de France, the country’s largest grant-giving organisation, this is an easy, and fast way to provide aid, as they spread their funds across medicine and social services, among other things. You can donate here.
Catholic Relief: Based in France, the Catholic Relief organisation works to help the underprivileged in France. It also often helps to provide assistance during emergencies. You can donate here.
French Secours Populaire: This NGO provides material assistance during emergencies, as well as victim support. You can either volunteer your time or donate to the organisation here.
NB: Be sure to do your research before giving to any new fundraising campaigns. Following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the FBI released a warning about phony charity sites that were preying on people’s generosity, and after the recent Orlando attack, there was another similar scam. Crowdfunding sites, although most often created with genuinely good intentions, can also be difficult to verify.
Following traumatic events like this one, blood donations are often the most vital way that people can help. Earlier today, French officials called for people across the country to donate their blood, to help victims and avoid shortages. However, they have now made announcements that they have enough blood, following an enormous response by the public. There is, however, a chance that more could be needed at some point and blood can be stored in banks, so there is no harm in donating if you can. You can donate blood to the French National Blood Service here.
Support on social
While sending out a tweet might feel like an insignificant and pointless act, it’s also a powerful way to connect people in need, or simply to express shock and grief following the attack and to show solidarity.
The ‘JeSuis’ hashtag first emerged following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January 2014, for people to show their absolute lack of tolerance to this kind of act, and to comfort their neighbours. It has since been picked up following similar horrific attacks and now, #JeSuisNice is trending on Twitter.
In the aftermath of November’s Paris attacks, people shared the hashtag #PorteOuverte in order to offer their homes as shelter to people who were stranded, and this hashtag is being shared again in relation to Nice (#PorteOuverteNice). Although users have been advised not to share their addresses openly, but in private messages only.
Other hashtags are circulating again, including #GiveForFrance, which was used in November and has started to circulate again, allowing people to offer help. And #PrayForNice, which people are adopting to offer words of support and also find out news from people in the area.
A devastating after-effect of the recent spate of terror attacks has been widespread Islamophobic retaliation and fearmongering. When people’s fear turns into prejudice and discrimination, the perpetrators win. Show your intolerance for racism by standing up if you see it happening, or reaching out to those who appear afraid.
The United Nations Victims of Terrorism Support Portal is a self-proclaimed "virtual networking, communication and information hub for victims of terrorism." It allows people to reach out and support others following such attacks across the globe.The portal also offers "solidarity for victims of terrorism and assistance for victims and their families and facilitate(s) the normalisation of their lives." Find out more here.
Anyone in need of information can call the British Embassy in France on its 24-hour crisis line: +33 144 513 100.
Images: Rex Features, Getty, iStock