Alison Thompson, author of The Third Wave: A Volunteer Story (Spiegel & Grau, 2011), recalls her experiences as a volunteer; experiences she believes will both inspire and challenge students to pursue their own journeys of service and action:
September 11th, 2011, marked the ten year anniversary of my journey around the world as a volunteer. On that day in 2001, when all I knew was that a tower had collapsed and that my good friend had been in it, I strapped on my rollerblades, packed up my first aid kit, and headed downtown to see what I could do to help. I ended up staying at Ground Zero for nine months, sifting through the rubble, collecting bodies, and tending to the firemen and ironworkers. Since then, I’ve made it my life’s mission to be on the ground whenever a major disaster strikes. I spent fourteen months in Sri Lanka after the Tsunami, and I currently work as a full-time volunteer in Haiti, where I moved right after the 2010 earthquake.
I wrote The Third Wave in order to provide a glimpse of what it’s really like on the ground after a disaster. I wanted show readers that