FUNDRAISING NEWS: WHY I GIVE

Jennifer Dobbin is a management consultant living in downtown New York.

She volunteered for the Salvation Army's emergency relief effort following the attack on the World Trade Center a year ago.

How did you get involved in the Salvation Army relief effort?

On 11 September last year, I left the Wall Street area on my way home and was one of the few eyewitnesses to the first plane hitting. I guess it was that which drew me into helping with the disaster. As hundreds of thousands of people from downtown fled the area, I went to the Salvation Army, got on one of their vans heading down to the site and just never left for the first week. Getting supplies or people into the site was impossible in the beginning so those of us who were there did whatever was necessary.

What did you have to do?

In the beginning there were bucket lines where volunteers just lined up as buckets of debris, ash or body parts were passed silently from one to the other, then water arrived and we were able to pass that. And then food started coming through; we were feeding thousands of men. The air was just pulverised glass and the eyes of the firemen and ironworkers inside the pit required constant attention.

Do you do any work or donate to any other causes?

I am a different person since 11 September. It was the most terrible, most important and most rewarding experience of my life. I have actively sought clients in the not-for-profit arena and although my income is reduced, I find it far more satisfying.

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