Here is the transcript of the Great Lakes Geek one minute podcast on User Groups and 9/11.
I remember 10 years ago after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 that we were all looking for some way to help the victims. I received a message from a friend in New York who indicated that the emergency personnel were short on PC hardware because much was lost or damaged.
I brought this to the attention of the volunteers of Computers Assisting People (CAP) and we adapted the words of Flight 93 hero Todd Beamer and said ‘Let’s Roll.’
I sent out a message to some other user group leaders and they all wanted to assist. Bob Kwater in Dayton was ready to hop in his car. Many of us were making plans to make the trip to New York with our equipment to assist.
Then we got the word that the authorities needed to limit travel into the area and that even our shipments of PC gear would not reach their destination in a timely manner. So we called off the New York plans and spread the word to the other user groups.
We weren’t able to directly assist but the willingness of so many to drop everything to help was a great example of the ‘users helping users’ philosophy that has been the mantra of user groups since the 1970’s. Groups like CAP have extended this to the next level – ‘users helping the community.’
Hopefully we will be free of such tragedies in the future and user groups will be able to focus their volunteer efforts to helping their communities.