The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines United as “combined; produced by joint action; agreeing. According to the National Constitution Center, the United States of America’s name originated at the Second Continental Congress, stemming from the “United Colonies.” On Monday, September 9, 1776, Congress approved some significant resolutions. The fifth resolution said: “That in all continental commissions, and other instruments, where, heretofore, the words’ United Colonies’ have been used, the stile be altered for the future to the “United States'” spoken by John C. Fitzpatrick.

Let’s back up a second, however. As you may remember from your American History class (or if you googled it like me), the colonies formed to be free from the British crown. Thus, escaping the monarchy and creating the beginnings of what would become the United State’s democracy. Allowing the people to elect officials to represent their country. Fast forward about 245 years through the invention of the telephone, two World Wars, the Civil Rights Movement, the landing on the moon, the British Invasion, and the birth of the Internet, among many more. Over 200 years forward, yet we are still fighting the same battles. Will we ever learn to lay down our weapons? We know a divided house cannot stand, as we have seen that movie played out in history repeatedly. Is power more important than human life? I sincerely hope not, but in today’s world, and it is easy to question.

If you are anything like me, you, too, are having a hard time standing idle. I remember learning about WWII as a kid and thinking about what was wrong with all the Americans for not helping (before we joined the war). Right, wrong, or indifferent was the choice of the country at the time. Nowadays, we as individuals have more power than we know what to do in the age of smartphones and social media. Why not put that overcharged power to good use? If you feel down or helpless, know that you are not alone. Despite the politics of it, human nature kicks in, and it is horrific to watch our fellow human beings treated so inhumanely. While we may not be able to pick up and go to Ukraine to help, there are other ways to contribute. The saying “be the change you wish to see” applies here, as change starts with just ONE person. I have linked resources to nationwide organizations like United WayYMCAHabitat for Humanity, Doctors Without BordersWorld Health OrganizationSalvation Army, and Direct Relief. Please read about the different collections and donate to the one that most speaks to your heart. Now, it does not need to be a pricey donation, even $1 helps! Please give what you can. You’re assisting countless refugees and citizens of Ukraine during this trying time. Treat others how you want to be treated.