It is with the heaviest of hearts that we begin to reflect on the violence and tragedy that struck our world last week, and which has unfortunately become all too commonplace. The events in Paris last week were the latest in a long string of tragedies impacting the international community. As a global travel network, we have Couchsurfers in every corner of the world, and no one is exempt from the impact.
American television personality Fred Rogers once said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping’”. In the face of such tragedy, there is still hope and inspiration to be found in the helpers who are providing ongoing support.
We encourage members in affected areas to help others in need in times of trouble. Last week, hosts with extra space in safe sanctuary around Paris created posts on Couchsurfing offering to take in Couchsurfers in need of refuge. Even as details of the attacks were still unfolding, the #PorteOuverte, or #OpenDoor, hashtag was trending on Twitter to help match those in need of shelter with safe places to stay.
In the wake of the incident, an outpouring of thoughts, prayers, and condolences for the Parisian community from Couchsurfers living all over the world has sprung up on the Paris discussion board. If you would like to get involved, there are numerous charities that would be grateful for your support as we put the pieces back together.
If you know of any Couchsurfers who might have been impacted and you’d like to let us know, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We need to take care of each other, now more than ever.