During his 40-year technology career in Buffalo and Boston, David Campbell led the charge as a good corporate citizen. He served on boards, was chairman of the chamber of commerce, raised money for the local cancer hospital. But when the 2004 tsunami struck in the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people in 14 countries, something shifted for him.
What started as a three-week volunteer project in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina turned into a much longer stay for Chandra Linnell, working tirelessly under difficult conditions to bring hope and order into communities that had little of either.
When Hurricane Charley touched down in Lee County, Florida in 2004, the Category 4 storm was the roughest to hit the area since the 1960s. John Mueller remembers seeing the endless caravans of utility trucks headed for Florida from all over the eastern seaboard. “It was so humbling,” he says. He and his wife, Mary, “promised ourselves that if we ever got the chance, we’d be there to reciprocate.”
Sherry-Lea Bloodworth Botop’s drive to help others after Hurricane Katrina stemmed from her experience on 9/11. She was living in New York, a young, newly divorced, single mom with two small children. “I remember walking downtown with the kids in their stroller to see what I could do” after the towers fell, she says. “There was nothing. I felt so helpless.” When Hurricane Katrina hit, she sprung into action.