September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document

Story:I was training that day and had a new class that had just started. When we heard what was happening, everyone was so upset and the new staff certainly weren't in any frame of mind to learn anything so we gave them a quick course on beltline and put them to work. This freed me up to work in our Center. We had a tremendous response ( we had so many donors that we had to open up our auditorium so that they would have a place to sit). Our staff worked with such compassion and without any complaints well into the night. Donors were waiting as long as 5-6 hours to donate and for once no one complained about the long waits. Donors were even helping out by manning the registration stations and making red, white & blue ribbons for everyone to wear ( they were incredible!) This was happening at all our bloodmobiles and fixed sites that day. The emotions were running high from both donors and staff. Everyone felt so helpless and wanted so badly to do something. I needed to work to fill the hours until I could hear from my daughter and my brother that day. Both were scheduled to be on a plane that day and I couldn't get in touch with either one of them. I finally heard from my daughter around 1PM and I can't even begin to express my relief when I heard her voice. It still tear up even after all this time when I think about it. My brother finally called me at 10PM that night. He had been helping people all day to evacuate NY city. He lived in New Jersey and worked in NY....He was crossing the bridge into NY and actually saw the second plane hit. He told me that he had a meeting schedule that day at the World Trade Building, but his plans changed at the last minute. The meeting went on and all who attending were lost. He was devastated and spent a great deal of time with the families of those that were lost. September the 11th will be with me always. I experienced such a range of emotions that day....extreme fear, grief, frustration, helplessness, a sense of great loss, gratitude and joy that my family were all safe and such sadness for all that lost their lives that day.

Response:Like everyone around me.....You simply did not think about yourself, but rather the needs of our community. They were feeling such helplessness and such a great need to "do something" and also to be with other people. Some had families in NY and Washington and just wanted to be with someone who would listen with compassion and understanding. We spent more time than usual with our donors that day just listening and crying with them.

Affects:When tragedy strikes...whatever form that it may take, people have a tremendous emotional need. They have physical needs, but I had no idea how strong the emotional needs are. They need to talk and cry and they need someone to listen. I want to be there for them whether as a ARC employee or as a volunteer.

Red Cross Volunteer:no

Red Cross Employee:yes

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