12 December 2005, 19:49
by Karin Svadlenak-Gomez
A still from the documentary "The Heart of Steel" by New York film maker Angelo Guglielmo shows a volunteer at the site of the World Trade Centre after the 9 September 2001 attack.
In continuation of its celebration of International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2005, the UNV Representation Office in North America and the volunteer-based 911 Families Association jointly screened the new documentary The Heart of Steel
by New York film maker Angelo Guglielmo.
The film recounts the experience of a group of individual volunteers who came together to help the rescue workers following the collapse of the World Trade Centre on September 11th, 2001. At the heart of this documentary is the spirit of volunteerism and service that motivated these volunteers to get out there and do something. It shows the power of ordinary citizens and the remarkable impact volunteerism can have on the volunteers themselves and on the world we live in.
The film was introduced by the film maker himself, and the screening was followed by a discussion panel moderated by Sally Yerkovich, president of the non-profit Tribute Center in New York City. Panelists Nick Lobel-Weiss, who organized an emergency medical response team to travel to Pakistan a week after the disastrous earthquake struck; Clara Lee, a private citizen who volunteers to help street children in Peru and Mexico during her vacation time; and Jennifer Adams, one of the volunteers featured in the documentary, spoke of the rewards of volunteering.
All three panelists spoke of the life-changing impact volunteering has had on them. “My success as a person is no longer measured in dollars and cents,” said Jennifer. “My measure now is self-worth, humanity and the people I can help…Volunteering builds community.”
The event was followed by a small reception during which panelists and visitors were able to exchange ideas.