I have been working on a new blog post for some time now – I just haven’t had the opportunity to put the finishing touches on it and post. It had been my intention to post about the amazing opportunities that surround us every day. Those opportunities that give us the ability to serve those in our community. I intended to speak about mentoring, volunteering and being a servant leader.
Tonight, however, I am finalizing this post from a different perspective. I had the opportunity to volunteer with the remarkable emergency service professionals of our Florida International University as we help to support the Sweetwater & Miami Dade community. Tragically, the pedestrian bridge that was designed to link the Sweetwater community and our FIU collapsed this Thursday, March 15th.
As a volunteer in the call center, I was able to witness the relentless efforts of the professionals and volunteers who are working around the clock to do whatever they can, large or small, to serve those in need. People from every line of work doing what they can with what they have. Even in the sadness, it was heartwarming to see FIU staff members give so freely of themselves to support those in need. Jody Glassman, Elizabeth Bejar, Andrea Jay, Kevin Coughlin, Gita Rausch, Damaris Valdes, Victor Martinez, Shirley Caballero, Lisa Edmunds, Helen Gonzalez, Tony Delgado, Javi Marques and all of those at FIU who are helping – Thank You. Especially to those actively monitoring the phones around the clock… Thank You. To the many student workers who were so patient, active and resilient during such a difficult time, Thank you. To each person who reached out to me Thursday to make sure I was safe, Thank you!
My heart goes out to all the families impacted by this tragedy. My most sincere Thank You to all those who jumped at the opportunity to step up and serve when the time called for them to do so. To our unquestioned leader, Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Thank you for your leadership and guidance over what will be a very difficult time- but we are confident you can bring this community through it.
Reach out to those you love and let them know you care. Please consider giving of your time or your energy to those who might need it in any way you possibly can. It is not what we take from this life that people will remember – it is what we give back.
Photos by Anthony Guivas