As we watched the events in Paris unfold on the news last night, we were shocked and horrified, and immediately wondering what we could do. We’re feeling especially thankful for technology and social media today, which has made us feel a little less helpless in the wake of this tragedy.

If you’re looking to do something to help the victims, even if like us you’re thousands of miles away, here are ways you can use technology and social media to show your support.

Image via SarahJaneStudios on Instagram



How to use tech to help the Paris Terror Attack victims: Facebook Safety Check

If you’re looking for friends and family who might be in or near the city, Facebook has initiated their Safety Check feature, which allows people to check in and let their friends and family know they are safe. If you’re in Paris, please consider checking in there; it’s a fast way to reassure loved ones.



How to use tech to help the Paris Terrorist Attack Victims: #PorteOuverte hashtag via Mara Tekach on Twitter

Image via Mara Tekach on Twitter

As usual, Twitter has been one of the best sources for real time news and updates, but there are also relief efforts emerging too in the form of a couple of hashtags.

For Parisians stranded in the U.S., #StrandedinUS will help them find shelter here. #PorteOuverte (open door) is being used by Parisians who are in need of shelter or by those who can offer shelter to those who can’t get to their home.

While #PorteOuverte is also being used to show solidarity and support, a better hashtag for that might be #PrayforParis so as to not clog the hashtag feed for those who need specific help.


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Using tech to help the Paris Terrorist Attack victims: IFRC donations

If you’re looking to provide donations and assistance, consider the French Red Cross. We’ve also seen requests for donations to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) which has a French chapter, but note that this will go to support all the international relief efforts, not just the needs in Paris.

We’ve got a list of resources and helpful ways to talk to your kids over on Cool Mom Picks today. Sending love and peace to the people of Paris.