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TK's MORNING BUZZ: 'Donate Something... Thousands of Families Are Affected By This Disaster, Whether By Death or Injury'

19 Sep, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Today's guest essay on the tragedies that struck us last week comes from Steven Scavelli, president of Flash Distributors. Like quite a few people inour industry, Steve is based in New York -- specifically, Brooklyn. Unlike anyone else I know, however, he was at ground zero within hours of the World Trade Center towers' collapse, helping with the rescue effort.

Steve's thoughts end with a plea to his colleagues in the industry. I hope all of you will heed his words.

As we all know, our lives have been forever changed by the acts of war committed on our country last week. I feel very lucky to not only have been spared losing any relatives and close friends in the attack in New York City, but also in being lucky enough to be one of the many thousands God placed near the scene so I was able to help in my own small way.

As I sit here typing this, one week later, it is hard to focus on work and the seeming insignificance of it, especially with the armed camp we are forced to work in. Our building is a few miles from the site of the World Trade Center and is now the home of more than 1,500 rescue workers: police officers, the military, firefighters and personnel with the Office of Emergency Management, the Secret Service, the Washington, D.C., police, FEMA, U.S. marshals, the NYPD Intelligence Department, the NYPD Canine Unit, the NYPD Harbor Patrol, etc.

The roof of our building is now the home of NYPD snipers and military with hand-held anti-missile devices. In order to enter the building we need to go through three checkpoints of military, Secret Service and NYPD. Thedoors of our office are guarded by three armed police officers and our loading dock is patrolled by the military and NYPD, every 20 feet is covered. No truck or car is allowed to enter or leave the premises without beinginspected thoroughly. I think you get the picture.

Obviously, this act of war and our impending response will affect all of our lives, and the lives of our children, forever. I am sure all of us are trying to prepare and/or help in our own way. I am actively involved with the NYPD and NYFD charities, mostly the "widows and children" foundations of each organization.

I am sure all have watched and all are aware, at least to the degree that can be seen on TV, of the carnage and devastation that has occurred in the city. Trust me, from being at the site, nothing you have seen even comes close to the reality of being there. It is horrific. Also, I am sure that everyone is aware of the loss of life and injuries to regular working U.S. citizens as well as the rescue workers who responded to the attack.

I have heard of many, many charities, funds and foundations that are focusing on the families of the victims of this horrendous act. Flash has also made donations, as have I, personally. I am sure many of you, as well as your companies, are doing likewise.

However, I want to reach out to all of you in an effort to try to secure as many items -- shirts, hats, clothing, promotional items appropriate for families and videos (promotional screeners that we would be allowed to giveto families, cutouts, or cleans) -- so we may pass them on to the families ofthe rescue workers who have lost their lives in this destruction.

Being a member of the NYPD "widows and children" foundation board, as well as working closely with the Fire Department and being a personal friend of Thomas Von Essen, fire commissioner, as well as his son, Marc, who is one of the rescue workers at the scene, I am in a position to make sure that alldonations get to the families in need.

I realize that most of you have probably made some sort of donation, whether it be in donating blood, or monetary, or otherwise. However, I amalso aware that many warehouses are busting full of promotional items,screeners, cutouts, clothing, etc. These items can be of great comfort to those in such dire need right now.

I look forward and thank all those in advance who are able to help, in any way that you can. Also, to those who are unable to help, I understand as well. There is no minimum or maximum of any items that you may have to offer. As you know, there are literally thousands of families affected by this disaster, whether by death or serious injury.

All that I ask is that any items be screened for its appropriateness for a family in mourning.

Any donations that you can make, can be sent to our warehouse:

Steve Scavelli
Flash Foundation
c/o Flash Distributors
140 58th St., Suite 1A
Brooklyn, NY 11220

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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