Responding to 9/11 as a volunteer by Carol

I was home that day watching morning TV news and I saw the whole thing.  I didn’t travel up to the site until probably the first week of November because I waited until the Client Casework Supervisor Course was given .  Finally I arrived in New York and after going to chapter headquarters just over the bridge in Brooklyn, I received an assignment very close to the Trade Center remains.  Chicken hearted as I was then, I chose not to see the site when offered the opportunity.  We worked in the basement of a union hall along with the mass care team.  It was my first deployment as a client casework supervisor so I did not really get to work with many clients, just the problems and the paperwork and approvals.   One man asked for help with securing safety equipment since he was working on “the pile.”   Most of what I did was in support of caseworkers who are called “Service Associates.” The weather was cold in NYC.  One day while outside seeking a lunch spot, I looked up and saw stuff falling from the sky. “Look”, I said, “it’s snowing.”  Someone near who heard my comment said, “That’s not snow; it’s ash from the trade center.”  After a week and a half, our service center was moved up to the telephone company site on Canal Street.  Our clients were people who lived or worked below Canal Street.  Their lives and incomes were also interrupted. I stayed on the job until the day before Thanksgiving.  Thankfully, I went home to my family gathering and no one was missing.
– Carol Barnett
is a long-time SEPA Chapter volunteer who served as a Client Casework Supervisor in Manhattan following the events of 9/11/01

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