Bringing Hope: A Disaster Relief Journey

Excerpt from Chapter Three - Daily Journals of My 9/11/2001 Disaster Response

Friday, September 28, 2001

It has now been over two weeks since the 9/11 attacks in New York City, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania. It is assumed there are no more living survivors in the rubble of the World Trade Center buildings. The American Red Cross will now begin the casework process where volunteers will talk with the families to determine what assistance they need.

This afternoon while working in my office at Marian College, I receive a call from the West Bend Chapter of the American Red Cross. Jan, the director, asks if I’m ready to leave tomorrow. She knows I’ve waited a year to get a call to respond to my first national disaster. My immediate thought is for the victims’ families and I instantly say “yes.” However, my next thought is I need to talk to my husband and other family first. I tell her I will need to make a couple of calls and then get back to her.

My first call is to my husband, Craig. We’d already discussed the chance I might be asked to help the families. He is both understanding of my need to go and concerned for my well-being. Next, I phone my sister Laura. Her oldest son, Bryan, will be married tomorrow. I don’t want to miss the wedding. But, there is a need in my heart to be able to leave immediately. My sister is not happy to hear I might miss tomorrow’s wedding of my godson. I said I’d call her back as soon as I have more details.