“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Mr. Fred Rogers

It’s been a confusing, chaotic time in Baltimore.

But this blog is not some soapbox for me to work through or preach my feelings about the protests, nor am I going to fall prey here to any kind of politicization. My views are not what matter in this situation.

As I watched the news, and browsed social media, and listened to police scanners, and kept tabs on what was happening throughout the week, I didn’t really know how I felt. It’s hard, obviously, to work through emotionally. But again: my emotions are not what matter in this situation.

The one emotional tidbit that I will divulge is that, no matter the negative feelings, I felt uplifted by all those who showed that they cared. All of those people who worked to make Baltimore a better place last week. Mr. Rogers, in his perpetual wisdom, is correct once again: there are so many helpers. There are so many caring people in this world. There are so many caring helpers here in Baltimore.

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 11.55.55 AM
This image appeared on my Twitter timeline Tuesday morning, the morning after Monday’s violence. And I’m happy to say that Jason Butler was not the only man, his help was not the only instance, where I saw help that morning. My Facebook became inundated with event pages inviting people to come out and help clean up the community.

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 11.53.08 AM
This caption is slightly difficult to read:

“As I was walking around cleaning up the West Baltimore area I encountered a young boy, his uncle, and the owners of a store waiting in front their store that had been broken into and looted last night. They thanked the cleanup volunteers passing by and even handed me a diet pepsi brought out from the store in appreciation. Even with all they had lost last night they were still willing to give.” This is absolutely my favorite story from the week.

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 12.14.20 PM
Following Monday’s unrest, the city school systems closed Tuesday. For many young Baltimoreans, school is a haven: it’s a place to get a meal, a place to stay while parents work. Tuesday’s closings meant that many young students were displaced. The Contemporary, a local art museum, created a pop-up daycare to feed and entertain these kids.

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 11.57.06 AM
Our very own Hopkins students participated in a march calling for justice. There’s a common misconception that Hopkins students are apathetic. Wednesday’s passionate protests proved that they are anything but. JHU_Quan took these amazing photos from the march.

This man, who called for respect on both sides. You can find  the full video here .

This man, who brought some levity to a tense scene with his dance moves. You can find more videos of him here.

Orioles’ very own Caleb Joseph pretending to sign autographs at a game closed to the public due to protests. He brought humor and light to an unfortunate situation.

Through it all, I felt inspired this week. I was proud of my fellow students, who betrayed the “apathetic” stereotype and showed true passion and care. I was proud of those who marched, of those who attended peaceful protests, of those who helped with clean-up and other relief efforts, and of those who even just sought to educate and understand. I’m thankful that I have such an amazing school security and city police force who worked diligently to make sure every student felt safe and secure.

I continue to be so proud of my fellow Baltimoreans, who even in during times like this, dig deep and find ways to help and care. Thank you to everyone who made Baltimore a better place this week. Thank you to all of the helpers.