While much of the United States celebrates or laments the results of yesterday's elections, the East Coast is experiencing more bad weather. Although much smaller than the attack of Superstorm Sandy last week, Winter Storm Athena may again cripple communities with wind and water. (Before you wonder about my capitalization of storms, I am following The Weather Channel's style.)
Have you wondered how you can help those who are suffering from Sandy and now Athena?
You can contribute cash to the American Red Cross. It takes just a minute to send money on its way to storm relief efforts. Why not send what you can afford now?
And you can send messages of caring and sympathy to people you know who are suffering great losses or whose lives have been disrupted.
Whether you communicate by a handwritten note, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, or another means, connecting with people you know can make them feel less discouraged and alone. Reaching out can also solidify your business and personal relationships. Your business contacts will appreciate your writing to them in this difficult time, rather than avoiding any mention of the ordeal that has darkened their daily experience.
Why not write a sympathy message now?
If you experience a loss of words as you stare at the screen or paper, these examples of condolence notes can get you started.
I am so sorry about the destruction of your beautiful home in last week's storm. Recognizing how much your home meant to you and Jean, I hardly know what to say in the face of such ruin and disappointment.
Please accept my condolences and know that I am thinking of you as you dig out, literally and figuratively.
Please accept my sympathy on the death of your wonderful husband. I am so sorry about the terrible accident that took his life. The fact that Frank died in an attempt to save others illustrates the courage and love that filled him.
I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as you grieve this deep loss.
Hello, Warren. I just learned from Brittany that your cottage on the Jersey Shore was wiped out in last week's storm. Please accept my sympathy on your loss.
As someone who was lucky enough to have been your guest, I know how much fun you and your family shared in that bungalow and how many good memories you must have. I am very sad that the cottage is gone.
You are in my thoughts.
I am so sorry that the storm destroyed the deli. What a loss! I know how much hard work and sweat went into that shop, and I am deeply sorry for what has happened.
I have no idea what your plans are now, but I will be thinking of you and Chris as you sort out your lives over the next weeks and months.
Please accept my condolences.
I am very sad to learn that your beautiful boat was wrecked in the storm. You have enjoyed so many good times on My Muse. It is difficult to imagine that she is gone.
If there is anything I can do to brighten your days, please let me know.
How sad I am to learn that your lovely Twinkles was lost in the storm! I know how you treasure that dog, and I can imagine that the lack of knowing what happened to her is extremely painful.
I am very sorry about this situation. Know that you and Twinkles are in my thoughts.
I have written many posts on how to write condolence messages, particularly in response to natural disasters. You can find a range of examples in this section of the blog.
To all in North America whose lives have been negatively affected by the horrible storm, I extend to you my hopes for peace, comfort, and a return to normalcy in your lives.