Find the Helpers (Hardcover)
What 9/11 and Parkland Taught Me about Recovery, Purpose, and Hope (Grief Recovery)
Mango, 9781642505351, 198pp.
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Fred Guttenberg loved watching Mr. Rogers with his daughter and his son when they were little. Their favorite piece of wisdom was: In the midst of tragedy and catastrophe, find the helpers.
"Always look for the helpers. There will always be helpers. Because if you look for the helpers, you'll know there's hope." --Fred Rogers, interview with Television Academy, 1999
Life changed forever on Valentine's Day 2018. What was to be a family day celebrating love turned into a nightmare. Thirty-four people were shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Jaime Guttenberg, a fourteen-year-old with a huge heart, was the second to last victim. That she and so many of her fellow students were struck down in cold blood galvanized many to action, including Jaime's father Fred who has become an activist dedicated to passing common sense gun safety legislation.
Fred was already struggling with deep personal loss. Four months earlier his brother Michael died of 9/11 induced pancreatic cancer. He had been exposed to so much dust and chemicals at Ground Zero, the damage caught up with him. Michael battled heroically for nearly five years and then died at age fifty.
This book is not about gun safety or Parkland. Instead, Find the Helpers tells the story of Fred Guttenberg's journey since Jaime's death and how he has been able to get through the worst of times thanks to the kindness and compassion of others. Good things happen to good people at the hands of other good people─and the world is filled with them. They include everyone from amazing gun violence survivors Fred has met around the country to former VP Joe Biden, who spent time talking to him about finding mission and purpose in learning to grieve.
If you have read books such as Eyes to the Wind, Haben, The Beauty in Breaking, The Book of Rosy, or We Are Not Here to Be Bystanders, then you'll love Find the Helpers.