[Groop]Thanks Ruben; more on New York!

Larry Steller lawrencesteller@yahoo.com
Wed, 19 Sep 2001 23:18:59 -0700 (PDT)

Ruben wrote:
>Hey Larry.  Just wanted to let you know 
>that your comments and messages motived me 
>to get some people together at our office.  
>We collected some money to donate to the 
>Red Cross, and had a little candle vigil 
>out on the street.  I'll be donating blood 
>sometime in the coming week too.  
>Take care,

Thanks Ruben, your compassion is truly heartfelt! 
With our economy currently on the decline, I think 
the world's blood banks have got to be reaching an 
all-time high!!!

It's amazing the sheer variety of emergency workers
I've seen in this city. On that fateful Tuesday, while
searching for word on my (still missing) cousin, I was
wandering in a bit of a daze when I was passed by this
huge convoy of fire trucks, sirens blaring and heading
downtown towards what we now call Ground Zero, with
a real Who's Who of Long Island communities (I know,
Where's Where doesn't have the same ring to it). Since
Susan was from Long Island, I got relly choked up by
this sight and started crying, it was like the cavalry
riding in! 

Later I spied cops from Nassau County, Suffolk County,
The Jersey Shore and Connecticut. The next day, I saw
Fire Trucks from North Carolina and Police Cars from
South Miami, Florida! By the end of the week, a guy on
the street said he saw a Fire Truck from California!!!
How could they have gotten here so quick? Imagine,
driving across the entire country, FOR DAYS, just to
risk their lives and help out!

We've had tens of thousands of people attempting to
volunteer for a handful of positions, everyone feels
this driving need to do something, anything to help,
and it can be frustrating to be turned away.

I was lucky enough to get to volunteer my time
Saturday at the Jacob Javitz Center, one of the places
from which they were distributing collected supplies
to the myriad emergency workers (aka Heroes of New
York). I basically just collected donations that were
dropped off to the cops at the barricade and sorted
through them, making sure the medical supplies got
inside first and everything else was sorted by type. 

We had mountains of flashlights, batteries, packages
of brand new socks, underwear, t-shirts, jackets, a
basketball, sweatshirts, dog food for the search

Yeah, the basketball kind of threw me too. 

Anyway, the thing is, there were thousands of people
who desperately wanted to, NEEDED to help out, and
they got turned away; I got really lucky- it was good
therapy for me, even if I was just a glorified stock

And we weren't allowed inside the building for
security reasons. There were properly registered and
vetted Red Cross or Salvation Army (my guess)
volunteers handling the REAL distribution inside.
There were NY State Troopers on the doors closely
checking everything that went inside; when I left
around 7:30 pm, most of the mountains of supplies
(except medical and stuff like respirators,
flashlights and batteries) we sorted were still
stacked up outside; they couldn't get clearance to
bring it inside from the kahunas running the show.

My guess is the bulk of that stuff donated will be (or
already was) redistributed to the homeless, elderly or
other deserving charities. 

I wonder who got the basketball?

-Larry Steller
New York, New York

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