We can always count on Barack Obama to offer a message of hope in the wake of national tragedies. The former president recently used his Twitter account to comment on the violence in Charlottesville, and on Sunday, Obama tweeted a powerful statement about Hurricane Harvey, urging people around the country to help those in need.
"Thank you to all the first responders and people helping each other out," Obama tweeted. "That's what we do as Americans."
He also included a link to a tweet by the American Red Cross, letting people know that donating to the organization is "one way you can help now."
Obama's tweet comes after the Category 4 storm rocked the southeastern coast of Texas Friday night. The storm would continue to cause extensive damage and flooding for at least the next three days, especially in the major metropolitan area of Houston, the country's fourth largest city. At time of writing, five deaths have been reported and approximately 2,000 emergency water rescues have taken place.
Despite the devastation, emergency responders and everyday citizens have come together in the wake of the tropical storm to provide a hand to neighbors in need in pretty extraordinary ways. According to Obama, it is this willingness to help that exemplifies what being American is all about — and it is what we should all stive for.
Obama's Twitter account made headlines just a few short weeks ago with another inspiring message, presented after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, left one woman dead. In a series of tweets, Obama quoted former South African President Nelson Mandela, reminding citizens that, "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion." That tweet has since become the most-liked tweet of all time.
Since his residency came to an end, Obama has also used his social media presence to comment on issues of international significance in the recent past: the recent terror attack in Barcelona, Spain; U.S. Senator John McCain's cancer diagnosis; the Senate vote to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act. Given Obama's popularity on Twitter, it's clear that his voice and perspective are still incredibly important to many Americans across the country.
Hurricane Harvey has caused a tremendous amount of devastation so far, and the damage will only intensify in the coming days. Obama's message of unity is a powerful reminder to take time to thank those involved in rescue efforts, and offer whatever help we can give.