On Aug. 24, 2016, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake shook central Italy, claiming dozens of lives and causing mass destruction.

Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images.

Amatrice, a popular tourist destination, was devastated by the quake.

Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images.


"The town isn't here anymore," Mayor Sergio Pirozzi told the Associated Press.

"It was one of the most beautiful towns of Italy and now there's nothing left," a woman whose home was destroyed told AP. "I don't know what we'll do."

Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images.

Officials say at least 120 people have been killed, and rescuers are still struggling to help those in more remote areas.

Near the town of Accumoli, for instance, bulldozers, ambulances, and other aid equipment haven't been able to access affected areas because main roads have been blocked and are too dangerous to cross.

"They’re still very much at the beginning of their search and rescue operation," CNN's Fred Pleitgen reported Wednesday morning.  

Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images.

To make matters worse, shortly after Italy was rocked by devastation, an earthquake hit Myanmar, too.

The quake killed at least three and damaged ancient temples in the Southeast Asian country.

Photo Soe Moe Aung/AFP/Getty Images.

Italy and Myanmar need our help now more than ever.

There are many groups from around the world stepping up to do their part.

Photo by Marco Zeppetella/AFP/Getty Images.

One such group is ShelterBox.

The nonprofit provides pop-up emergency shelter and vital supplies like blankets, hats and gloves, and mosquito nets to people affected by natural disasters around the world.

Photo by ShelterBox, used with permission.

Photo by ShelterBox, used with permission.

While many aid groups provide resources such as food and medicine in the aftermath of devastation, safe and reliable shelter is often lacking in the critical stage between immediate assistance and long-term rebuilding efforts.

That's where ShelterBox is particularly helpful.

When disaster struck this morning, ShelterBox didn't hesitate to make its move.

Chris Alexander, the group's communications manager, said ShelterBox has an assessment team on the job that will work with affiliate groups in Milan to see if a response is feasible and needed at this point. The group is also monitoring the situation in Myanmar.

If ShelterBox can be of service, the group will provide resources to affected areas ASAP.

Josh Mohr, a member of ShelterBox's response team, said it's been incredible to work for a passionate group that makes a "very tangible impact" on the communities it serves.

"Seeing a family whose home and livelihood has been completely destroyed is heart-breaking," said Mohr, who's been deployed to four different countries since joining the response team in 2011.

"Being able to give them aid and the ability to reestablish their lives is an incredible feeling and one that is tough to explain."

Photo via Josh Mohr, used with permission.

There are many ways you can help out in the wake of these natural disasters.

If you're inspired to help out, you can learn more about these groups and their efforts at the links below:

Learn more and support efforts by organizations like ShelterBox.

The Italian Red Cross is proving vital help on the ground in affected areas.

Help Save the Children, operating now in Myanmar, provide aid.

La Stampa's emergency relief fund is providing assistance to victims of the quake in Italy.

Encouraging messages and ways to help those in need are going viral under the #PrayForItaly hashtag on Facebook and Twitter. Join the conversation.

And if you're worried about friends traveling in Italy — or maybe you're there and want to let loved ones know you're safe — use Facebook's Safety Check feature.

Italy and Myanmar, our thoughts are with you — and, more importantly, our actions to help you recover are, too.

Stay strong.

Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images.

Throughout his basketball career Michael Jordan has been criticized for not letting his voice be heard when it came to political change. That does not appear to be the case anymore. In the month of June alone, Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand have donated $100 million dollars to organizations committed to race equality. A portion of the funds will be allocated to organizations helping to protect black voting rights.

In the latest announcement, Jordan himself and his Jordan Brand are investing $2.5 in organizations to help combat Black voter suppression. In a statement from the Jordan Brand, it was announced: $1 million dollars is being donated to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. and $1 million to the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People and Families Movement. The Black Voters Matter organization will receive $500,000 in the statement which was first reported by CNN.


Keep Reading Show less
True

The United Nations is marking its 75th anniversary at a time of great challenge, including the worst global health crisis in its history. Will it bring the world closer together? Or will it lead to greater divides and mistrust?

Share your vision for shaping the future: take this 1-minute survey. Your responses to this survey will inform global priorities now and going forward.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a badass in the movies, but he's increasingly building a reputation as a heroic "action star" in real life. Only, instead of dropping ungodly amounts of fake bullets into his enemies, Schwarzenegger has been dropping rhetorical bombs against his political opponents while building intellectual and emotional bridges to those who disagree with him but still have open hearts and minds.

The most recent example found Arnold responding to a comment someone made on Facebook. On the surface, that may sound like just about the least unique or original jumping off point for a story.




Keep Reading Show less

Those of us who grew up in the Alanis Morissette angst era and followed her through her transformation into a more enlightened version of herself may be thrilled to know she has a new album out. Such Pretty Forks in the Road is her first album in eight years—and the first since two of her three children were born.

Anyone who's been working from home with kids knows that we're all in the same frequently interrupted boat. Such is the pandemic life. But we've also seen how those very human moments when kids insert themselves into life are some of the most real and precious. And that reality comes shining through in Morissette's Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon performance of her new song, "Ablaze," which is, not so ironically, a song about her children. As she sings, it's clear that she's still got the chops that made her famous. It's also clear that her 4-year-old daughter, Onyx, just sees her mommy as mommy and not as the iconic pop star that she is. The performance is lovely and sweet, and hearing Onyx's little voice and seeing her put her hand over her mom's mouth as she sings is just too adorably real.

Keep Reading Show less