Search this site!

Dear Subscribers:

We're uploading a day early this extraordinary week because, despite all the information that keeps coming in, we feel it's time to connect with all of you. Other Americans on this list must be as thankful as we are for the support and prayers that the United States has received since the terrorist attacks Tuesday.

As wise commentators have been saying, not just the US but the world is a different place now (here's an eloquent example - dispatched from Bogota today - in The Independent of London). But contrary to what we understand of terrorists' intentions, whatever good anyone is trying to accomplish each day, great or small, must continue. It's helping to rescue all of us, worldwide, from this assault on humanity.

Here's our lineup for this second week of September:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sponsor ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Support us and shop at... Publishers Pipeline - low-cost or free educational software,
electronics, housewares,
PC hardware, music CDs, etc. Examples this week:
Princeton Review Middle School 4-CD Set (Regularly $49.97, $19.97 after Instant Rebate)
Kid Pix by Broderbund (Regularly $31.97, $11.97 after Instant Rebate)
Barbie Digital Camera/Photo Design Software (Regularly $49.99, $19.99 after Instant Rebate)


Counter-terrorism: Your emails, the news, relief, links, prayers across the Net

One of the extraordinary things about the Internet is the immediacy with which it makes diverse information and support available to millions of people - whether they need information about events and loved ones or want to contribute services, funds, blood, or prayers.

  1. Defeating hate, finding comfort

    "Chat is where people were," Lynne Bundesen, founder of, told us when we talked with her about how this international, ecumenical nonprofit Web site dealt with spiritual fallout from the terrorist attacks on the US Tuesday. Lynne was referring to the spontaneity of online chat and how it met the needs of many for immediate discussion and fellowship, as well as requests for prayer. Although many emails, mostly from churches and religious organizations, were posted on the site's discussion boards, by far the bulk of OurFaith's traffic was in chat, she said. The site's chat traffic more than quadrupled on Tuesday, and the average length of time each person spent in chat was 5 hours.

    "At about 8:50 a.m., Tuesday, [chat moderator] Steven instant-messaged me from Vermont that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center," Lynne said. "I turned on the TV and watched the second plane crash. The chat rooms are always open, so Steven and I went in as moderators and just stayed there all day long and into the night" - about 14 hours, with other moderators soon joining them. "We had people there from all faiths holding hands - Bahai, every kind of Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jew, Hindu, and Pagan." She added that there was lots of "Here's what I just heard..." but there was also the kind of fellowship and support that addressed specific concerns.

    One regular OurFaiths participant in the United Arab Emirates was worried about what people would think of Islam. By cutting and pasting from Microsoft Network religion forums, he started to illustrate for OurFaiths participants some of the terrible things being said of Muslims." Despite his legitimate concern, Lynne told us, OurFaiths decided that, even as negative examples, inflammatory statements couldn't be allowed on the site (see "Blame Game Dominates Chat Rooms" at Wired News). "We felt we needed to have a place on the Internet where people could be spared of inflammatory comments. As if in confirmation, another chatter later said Microsoft Network had restricted those chats to one room with seven moderators, Lynne told us, because they'd become "unmanageable - very violent."

    Later in the day a mother and Islamic woman in Wisconsin came into the chat room and stayed about four hours, Lynne said. "Somebody threw trash at her front door, so she was very afraid and needed someone to talk to.... Her husband had just left the night before for the Middle East." In response, an Evangelical Christian in Texas who saw that call for help sent out a prayer request for "Divine Protection" for the Wisconsin woman, the UAE man, and their families. "I was so touched," Lynne told us. "I thought, 'that was a turn of heart.' That would not have happened a few months ago."

    Editor's Note: For a wide-angle view of the Web's role this week as "a virtual balm for a global crisis," do read the Associated Press's story on this at Yahoo News. And email had its own vital role - informing and connecting when phones didn't work, and getting information through when news Web sites were gridlocked, according to MSNBC's "So thank God for email". For more on the Internet's role in the crisis, there was a CNET report on Tuesday and a Gartner analysts' commentary on the "The Day the Internet Grew Up," also at CNET.

  2. Helping children deal with the news and images in the media

    First Lady Laura Bush was on national television this morning speaking of the need to help our children deal with the attacks and the media coverage. On Tuesday posted advice on how to talk with children about tragedy both at home and in the classroom. The Public Broadcasting Service decided to provide "a safe haven for children by continuing to broadcast a daytime schedule of PBS Kids programming" this week, but put special resource pages for parents and teachers in its Web site. Wednesday uploaded a special edition of its newsletter , linking to advice from eight expert sources on helping children deal with terrorism, trauma, violence, grief, and stress.'s family therapist Carleton Kendrick has advice on appropriate ways to work with kids by grade levels, and's Dr. Kyle Pruett suggests that listening is every bit as important and talking. And here are some suggestions for working with kids from for Jewish students. A Wednesday editorial in the Christian Science Monitor put children's concerns and the "mental aftereffects" of the attacks at the top of the priority list this week.

    Prayers so often seem to be written for grownups. Well, here's one specifically for children, "In Honor of National Prayer Day, September 14, 2001" - written by subscriber Carol Goodrow, elementary teacher and Webmaster of (We were notified of this after uploaded the email edition of this newsletter this week, so we'll include it in next week's email.)

  3. Disaster relief resources on the Web

    For more, very useful relief and rescue information, see the links from a special edition of the eContext newsletter ("d." below).

  4. Thoughtful email

    a. From Childnet International in England

    "RE: You are in our thoughts and prayers today."

    "We have been devastated here by the unfolding events in the USA. All of us at Childnet just want to say how much we grieve for what has happened to your fellow citizens. We hope you personally, your family and friends are OK, but we know that you will have been profoundly affected by this in many ways."

    b. From in Greece

    "Dear All American friends, The people at NOUS S.A. and would like to send our heartfelt sorrow to Those that perished in the attacks and our sympathies for that unbelievable disaster. May God bless us all."

    c. Emailed call to action in the US

    "Friday Night at 7:00 p.m. EST step out your door, stop your car, or step out of your establishment and light a candle. We will show the world that Americans are strong and united together against terrorism. Please pass this to everyone on your e-mail list. We need to reach everyone across the United States quickly.


    "We need press to cover this-- we need the world to see."

    d. From an Internet business to its contacts:

    "In view of the tragic events of yesterday, The Kelsey Group has decided to postpone publication of our eContext newsletter, otherwise scheduled for today.

    "The Kelsey Group is headquartered in Princeton, NJ, and has several employees and many friends who live and work in New York City. We were all stunned by what happened and hope that your family, friends and colleagues are all safe.

    "The following is a partial list of news and information resources:

* * * *

Going forward: Enter the Childnet Awards!

"Are you using the Internet to link up with other children around the world?" Childnet International asks in French, Spanish, and English. If your answer is "yes" in any language, consider entering your Internet project in the 2002 Cable & Wireless Childnet Awards. The entry deadline is October 31st.

The awards - honoring children (and those working with them) who are developing innovative Internet projects that benefit other children - are given in three main categories: Individuals, Schools, and Nonprofit organizations. And there is a special category for innovators this year. The awards Web site includes examples of previous winners. This year's winning sites will receive, among other things, two free tickets to Paris for the awards ceremony next April!'s Larry Magid, a Childnet Awards judge, wrote about the "dot-hope" focus of the awards in his Family Tech column last April. This week has certainly confirmed the importance of Childnet's message.

* * * *

Share with a Friend!! If you find the newsletter useful, won't you tell your friends and colleagues? We would much appreciate your referral. To subscribe, they can just send an email to - no need to type anything in the Subject field or the body of the message.

We are always happy to hear from potential sponsors and distribution partners as well. If you'd like to make a tax-deductible contribution or become a sponsor, please email us or send a check payable to:

Net Family News, Inc.
P.O. Box 1283
Madison, CT 06443


Anne Collier, Editor

Net Family News

HOME | newsletter | subscribe | links | supporters | about | feedback

Copyright 2001 Net Family News, Inc. | Our Privacy Policy