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Fred Guttenberg’s Find the Helpers: What 9/11 and Parkland Taught Me About Recovery, Purpose, and Hope (School Safety, Grief Recovery)

Fred Guttenberg’s Find the Helpers: What 9/11 and Parkland Taught Me About Recovery, Purpose, and Hope (School Safety, Grief Recovery)

by Fred Guttenberg, ,

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How a Parkland Dad and 9/11 Brother Faced Tragedy

 

"Don't tell me there's no such thing as gun violence. It happened in Parkland." ―Fred Guttenberg

2020 Nautilus Silver Winner
2021 Chanticleer Hearten Awards First Place Winner

Life changed forever on Valentine's Day 2018 for Fred Guttenberg and his family. What should have been a day of love turned into a nightmare. Seventeen people died at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Fourteen-year-old Jaime Guttenberg was the second to last victim.

 

“Fred Guttenberg is a hero." ―Lawrence O'Donnell.  That Jaime and so many of her fellow students were struck down in cold blood galvanized many to action, including Jaime’s father Fred now a gun safety 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.

Find the Helpers has a special meaning to the Guttenberg’s. It was a beloved family wisdom learned from watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. In the midst of tragedy, "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

Healing from grief. Discover the story of Fred Guttenberg’s activist’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 to former VP Joe Biden, who spent time talking to him about finding mission and purpose in learning to grieve.

 

If you enjoyed Eyes to the WindHaben, or The Beauty in Breaking, you'll love Find the Helpers!

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  • Fred Guttenberg

    Fred Guttenberg began his public life after the murder of his beautiful 14-year-old daughter Jaime in the Parkland school shooting on Feb 14, 2018. The day after the murder, Fred decided to attend a public vigil in Parkland. 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. He was one of the original first responders at the WTC 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 16 days at ground zero taking care of others.

    Following his involvement in these two distinct American Tragedies, Fred has traveled the country talking about both events but also talking about perspective, perseverance, and resilience. He discusses pivotal moments in life and how we respond to those moments. Fred uses his speech to inspire others.

    Prior to these events, Fred Guttenberg’s professional life included over a decade of experience in sales and management with Johnson and Johnson, followed by almost 15 years as an entrepreneur, having built a business that consisted of 19 Dunkin’ Donuts, which he sold in November 2016.

    Fred and his wife Jennifer now spend time challenging our 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 a myriad of online and print media. Through the formation of the non-profit, this is now his full-time mission.

    Fred's book "Find The Helpers" is a recipent of the 2020 Silver Nautilus Award for Heroic Journeys.