On September 11, I was in Los Angeles. I woke up from my dad’s phone call, who told me to turn on the TV. He was calling from Armenia. The world was watching…
I remember how during those tragic days, the world came together. New York, out of a sudden, became a home for people who were one, who loved and supported each other. For New York residents the outpouring of kindness from total strangers was a bright spot in the city’s darkest hours, one that Evan and his dad Jeff would not forget.
Evan was 3 years old on September 11. His dad Jeff had lost a close friend in the World Trade Center attacks. Two years later, Evan, then 5, was fighting with his 3-year-old brother, Josh, about who deserved a new stuffed bear their dad had given them to share. When the argument subsided, Evan sat down with his dad to watch news reports of wildfires in Southern California. “There was this little girl on the news, and her house got burned down — her whole house wasn’t there,” says Evan, still sounding shocked by the realization. “I was thinking, ‘That girl has nothing and we’re fighting over this stupid toy. Why do we even need it?'”
Evan offered to donate his own toys, which only moments before had seemed so important to him, to the young victims of the wildfires. Maybe it was a flicker of the memory of so many people coming from across the country to help New York City right after Sept. 11 that made Evan do it. For Jeff, it was more than a flicker. It was his way of returning a huge favor. Jeff enlisted New Yorkers around the city to join in the donations. Four days and almost 100 volunteers later, Jeff was driving a U-Haul truck across the country with a special delivery for victims of the California wildfires. Across the side of the truck he placed a banner that read, “New York Says Thank You.”
You can read more about this volunteer organization at www.news.yahoo.com