9-11.  I sat there.  Numb.

I wanted to go.  To rush into the sky as soon as they were safe.

And rush to Ground Zero.  To do what.  I don’t know.

We prayed, we talked, we cried.

I went down to my local American Red Cross chapter.

I took my first Volunteer class.  The basics of care.

I still had nothing to do.

I went to every meeting, took every class.

I was a Marriage & Family Therapist.

I went on Fire calls in tennis shoes (ROOKIE, they laughed)

I spent nights in shelters with folks who lost their homes.

THEN, the big one.  Hurricane Katrina.

By this time, I was DMHS (disaster mental health services) volunteer.

I was sent to Bakersfield.  To the call center.

  Hundreds of bodies, answering phones.

talking to homeless in shelters, passing cell phones

to each other to not drop calls.

We played poker with sugar packets after our shifts

We gave out money.  We discerned who needed it (everyone)

The Washington Floods.

going in to an eldery woman’s home.  water line to the windows.

lost everything

going door to door, the man who had salmon swimming through his living room

looking for children, delivering meals.

shelters, fires, living in basketball gyms, arguing with the mentally ill

making sure you got your pet.  VERY important

all the small jobs, which are big jobs

when someone has lost everything.

cleaning the bathrooms, serving Easter dinner of hamburgers & hotdogs.

SO. While you watch from your homes,

and feel impotent because you want to go to Haiti, but you can’t…

get on the phone.  Phone your local Red Cross

and get trained.

Be ready.

Because the next time Haiti happens, and it will,

we will need YOU.


Many Thanks to Mommy Wants Vodka, who inspired this post.

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