Serving Our Neighbors in Parkland

Serving Our Neighbors in Parkland Article Image

How do we respond when a tragedy takes place? As believers, as the Church, we are called to respond as representatives of God; as His ambassadors we’re supposed to be His hands and feet. And in Psalm 34:18 (ESV), David tells us what God’s response is and what ours should look like when he writes, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

As the Parkland community seeks to pick up the broken pieces left behind by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, here are a few opportunities available for you to go out and love of those who are caring for the community, our first responders and crisis response teams:

  • Drop off snacks or meals to local fire stations, police departments, mobile crisis counseling units throughout Parkland; 911 dispatch centers, or One Blood facilities
  • You can donate blood, or bring fruits and snacks to those who are donating and those who are working.

Use these opportunities to also check up on the first responders to see how they’re doing and offer to pray for them.

We’re also partnering with First Priority to support any resource needs they may have as they lead over 200 Christian clubs in schools across seven counties in Florida. One of these clubs is in Stoneman Douglas. Please contact First Priority to provide financial support or to volunteer.  
We’ll also have several of our monthly Love Your Neighbor (LYN) outreaches this year geared specifically to serving and caring for our first responders and potentially Stoneman Douglas students if the opportunity presents itself. Please keep an eye out for these outreaches. If we find that there is a large community need, we will let you know! Please like us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest on local outreaches throughout the community.
Here are some of the things we and the community have done so far:

  • Participated in prayer vigils and visited the sites where families gathered immediately after the incident and in the days since to pray with families, students, and first responders.
  • Passed out love bags filled with fruit, snacks, and an encouraging note to families and first responders.
  • Continued work alongside the Billy Graham Crisis Counselors, providing follow-up and care for those who accepted the Lord or rededicated their lives through the personal connection with the counselors.
  • Provided daily hot meals to first responders and crisis counselors–this effort was led by a family in our church. 
  • Passed out rubber bracelets in Stoneman Douglas colors with an encouraging Bible verse to thousands in the community of Parkland—another wonderful family-led effort. 

We pray this gives you ideas of how you and your family can support the community and make a huge difference in the lives of the people around us.

Parents, we have resources available to help you communicate with your kids about tragedies of this nature, and to help you walk through the grieving process with them. You can find these resources at

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.