This I Believe

Abby - Cullowhee, North Carolina
Entered on September 19, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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“Acting after a Crisis”

Early one morning in September of 1999, Bob & Shirley got an emergency telephone call telling them their assistance was needed at the coast of North Carolina. Hurricane Floyd had hit harder than expected. As soon as they hung up the phone, my grandparents packed their bags and met up with the rest of the Disaster Relief volunteers and headed to North Carolina.

I believe that how you act in a crisis shows who you truly are. My grandparents have been active in Disaster Relief and American Red Cross for the past twenty years and they’ve been asked numerous times each year to volunteer and aid whenever the United States has encountered a crisis. Every time, they have been willing to drop what they’re doing at home and go help with whatever is needed. When the planes crashed into the World Trade Center my grandparents flew up to New York the next day and stayed for many weeks helping anyone and everyone who needed it. That was the longest and probably the most emotionally hard trip they have ever been on.

I know some people just volunteer every once and a while, and say they are in Disaster Relief just to get recognized, but I have never known my grandparents to pass up an opportunity to help out. They don’t do it for the “show” or the attention. They do it because they are loving, humanitarians and true heroes.

My grandparents are heroes in my eyes. I could never see myself going out of my way multiple times a year to volunteer all over the United States. I go on a week long mission trip every summer with my church, but being able to go five or six times a year for two weeks is something I look up to. My grandparents have volunteered in these organizations instead of working for four years and counting. They have devoted their lives to helping others in need.

My Granddad passed away two summers ago, but my Grandma vowed to stay active in Disaster Relief and American Red Cross as long as she could, in honor of him. Even after my Granddad had to be hospitalized for a couple of days, because he grew sick while on a trip, or even after he was diagnosed with cancer, he still continued to do what he could to help out.

At the visitation before my granddad’s funeral, I must have met one hundred plus people who told me numerous times how devoted my granddad was to helping others, volunteering whenever needed, what an amazing man he was, and how lucky I was to have had Bob Buckner as my granddad.

Volunteering with organizations like this, and being so devoted to helping our country after a crisis, brings out who a person really is and how courageous they can be. This is definitely something everyone can look up to. Even though I can not go to the extreme to do what they do, I am going to try to be more like my grandparents and volunteer around the community as much as possible.