Find the Helpers: What 9/11 and Parkland Taught Me About Recovery, Purpose & Hope By Fred Guttenberg
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Overcoming Grief Through the Humanity of Others
"This book offers powerful and heartening lessons on how we can help one another move forward and build a safer, more just world." ―Gabby Giffords
#1 New Release in Grief & Loss
Fred Guttenberg loved watching Mr. Rogers with his daughter and son when they were little. Their favorite 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, 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 too much dust and chemicals at Ground Zero. Michael battled heroically for nearly five years and then died at age fifty.
This book is not about gun safety or Parkland. Instead, it 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've read books such as Eyes to the Wind, Haben, or The Beauty in Breaking, then you'll love Find the Helpers.
Fred Guttenberg began his public life after the murder of his beautiful fourteen-year-old daughter Jaime in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting on Feb 14, 2018. The day after the murder, Fred decided to attend a public vigil. While there, the mayor asked him to speak. His words shook a nation and he has not stopped since. Only four months prior to the murder of his daughter, Fred’s brother Michael passed away in October 2017 from cancer related to his service in 9/11 in New York City. He was one of the original first responders at the World Trade Center with a team of doctors who got trapped in the WTC as it collapsed. Amazingly, the room that they hid out in did not collapse and Michael and his team of physicians spent sixteen days at ground zero taking care of others. Following his involvement in these two distinctly American tragedies, Fred has traveled the country talking about both events but also talking about perspective, perseverance, and resilience. He discusses pivotal moments in our lives and how we respond to those moments, using his speech to inspire others. Prior to these events, Fred Guttenberg’s professional life included over a decade in sales and management with Johnson & Johnson, followed by almost fifteen years as an entrepreneur, having built a business including nineteen Dunkin Donuts. Fred and his wife Jennifer now spend time challenging elected officials to do more. They began a nonprofit organization dedicated to Jaime’s life called "Orange Ribbons for Jaime." He has been a regular on TV news programs and myriad online and print media. The nonprofit is now his full-time mission.
Fred will be in conversation with Brenda Knight
Whomst began her career at HarperCollins, working with luminaries Paolo Coelho, Marianne Williamson, and Huston Smith. Knight was awarded IndieFab’s Publisher of the Year in 2014 at the American Library Association. Knight is the author of Wild Women and Books, The Grateful Table, Be a Good in the World, and Women of the Beat Generation, which won an American Book Award. Knight is a poet, writer, and editor. She also serves as President of the Women’s National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter, and is an instructor at the annual San Francisco Writers Conference, Central Coast Writers Conference and wherever she can be with fellow writers. She resides in San Francisco, CA.
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