The news of the latest tragedy, a mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday, leaves some of us feeling a bit helpless. While there are things you can do to safeguard yourself in most situations, these senseless acts occur without warning or a chance to react in some cases.

In the aftermath of this action, you can donate to a Go Fund Me account that will assist victims and their families of the shooting that left at least 59 people dead and many injured. This tragedy follows closely behind the natural disasters from the series of hurricanes that struck Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico that has strained resources.

It takes people pulling together, locally and nationally to make a difference. A pair of Owatonna Public Utilities employees traveled with a crew from Minnesota to work on restoring power in parts of Florida.

While it might be difficult for the average person to travel to such a place to help with repair or clean-up, now is a good time to remember what we can do locally to assist people. A blood drive at the city hall in New Richland will take place Wednesday October 4 from 12-6PM. A blood drive is also scheduled for the Elks Lodge in Faribault October 11-12. Go to for other blood drives. While blood donated locally is not going to end up in Las Vegas helping victims of Sunday's event, it will help your neighbors in a time of need.

There are a variety of fundraisers going on all the time to assists people, frequently due to health problems. A spaghetti dinner and silent auction Saturday October 7 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Owatonna from 5-7:30PM will benefit Otto Lehrer, father of four boys, who is battling a health condition.

A similar fundraiser is Saturday, October 21 at the Owatonna Eagles Club from 4-7PM to assist Alonso Hernandez with a kidney transplant. Owatonna's football program is hosting their annual Sack Cancer night Friday October 6 during the game against Rochester Century. Money raised will benefit the Steele County Relay for Life and the From the Heart Run, both events assist people battling cancer locally and their families. A free will donation will be taken during the game.

With the natural and man-made tragedies raining down on us, let's not forget how much of an impact we can have locally, and nationally.