Project RACE Teens Serve on 9/11
The following post is from the President of our Teen division, Tommy McManus.
I recently had my first meeting with the East Coast contingency of our Project RACE Teens National Panelists. We decided to meet in Brick, New Jersey for the 9/11 National Day of Service. We had breakfast together and had a great time getting to know each other and discussing our goals and plans for Project RACE Teens. Following our meeting we all participated in a great disaster preparedness program. I am so proud of the amazing group of teens we have here at PRT. They really want to make a difference in the lives of multiracial people and beyond!
It was America’s National Day of Service in remembrance of all the victims in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. To remember all these 9/11 first responders my mother and I, gathered with Project RACE Kids president, Karson Baldwin, his mother Kelly, who is a member of our Advisory Board and four of ourNational Teen Panelists Edyn, Eric, Liz, and Zach. After our Project RACE meeting, we joined with other volunteers to attend a “Disaster Preparedness” training by the American Red Cross that now ensures that we can work in a shelter. Hopefully that will not be anytime soon because I would really love a hurricane-free year, but we’ll see! Two Red Cross workers gave this training to us: one a regional manager, and the other a volunteer. They went through a simple process explaining everything from how to prepare the shelter all the way to how to close one when it is no longer needed. One of the most interesting things I heard during this presentation is how important confidentiality is. Say a person named Mr. Jones is staying in a shelter and someone comes in and asks if Mr. Jones is staying there, the manager or whoever is working at the entrance has to say, “Please leave your information and I will go and if Mr. Jones is here he’ll contact you”. The shelter has to do this because what if that person came in looking for him was actually trying to rob Mr. Jones and by knowing he was staying in a shelter, this person now knows that Mr. Jones’s house is empty. Therefore, confidentiality is one of the most important things.
After the two-hour presentation we went around Brick and went to vulnerable waterfront houses asking people if they had a plan in case there was another disaster. My group talked to several people and left important disaster preparedness information for the remaining houses whose residents were not home at the time. I’m really glad I am now certified to work at a shelter, and that I was able to spend the day with a bunch of great people including several key members of the amazing Project RACE team!
– Tommy McManus, Project RACE Teens President