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I want to break away from my usual topic of something technical and talk about what I experienced tonight while working in the call center for the Nashville Flood telethon, which was broadcast on WSMV, CNN, and The Weather Channel. 

We started receiving calls about 7pm local time and to be honest, I had no idea what to expect when going into this.  I mean, I'm a pretty good talker, but this is different...We had a good script of what to say and how we were supposed to say it, as well as paper forms and pens that we used to collect information from people who wanted to donate their money to help.  I took my first few calls pretty easily and it went pretty quick and easy.  Everyone was upbeat and happy to be in the call center as well as people happy to be donating money. Pizza, snacks, and soft drinks were flowing well.  Everyone is smiling and happy.  :)

About 3 or 4 calls into my night, I got a call from a lady that had lost 2 family members in West Nashville who drowned in the floods.  She was crying when she called and I of course tried to console her.  She told me how bad her situation was, losing family members and much of her neighborhood.  After all this, she still just wanted to help other people.  She was donating all the money that she could to the telethon and I want to share a direct quote from her: "I want to donate this instead of buying flowers for my family members' funeral because people out there need help.".

Please let me pause while I get myself together <again>.  That caught me so off guard (and still does).

I had kids calling wanting to donate their allowance, open their piggy banks, whatever they could do.  These are kids.  Kids not much older than my boys.  Kids who should be focused on buying the next cool video game or toy or whatever but wanted to do something.  Everyone just seemed to want to help. I took calls from as far away as British Columbia as well and pretty much coast to coast.  how cool is that?

Yet another thing that caught me off guard.  This kind lady that called from British Columbia told me how much she loved visiting Nashville and just hated to see this happen.  I belive that she said that she will be attending the CMA Fest this year too.  I was sure to tell her not to cancel her plans!  :)

It felt like every call I took (and I took A LOT, as did everyone else) was very personal and heartfelt.  I've never had the privelage to do anything like this and fell lucky to have been able to help out with answering phones and logging donations.  Nashville will bounce back very quickly, people are out there day and night helping each other, and the spirits are very high here. 

I hope that one day, my kids read this blog and better understand who they are, where they come from, and what the human spirt is and can be.  I love this city, I love the people here, I love the culture and even more than ever am proud to say that this is me.  This is us.  We are Nashville!

Posted on Friday, May 7, 2010 12:28 AM | Back to top


Comments on this post: A view from the call center for the Nashville Flood telethon

# re: A view from the call center for the Nashville Flood telethon
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Great post! Restores some hope in society
Left by MarkPearl on May 07, 2010 3:20 AM

# re: A view from the call center for the Nashville Flood telethon
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I had no idea what had happened in Nashville. My thoughts are with those suffering. People like you and the people donating help make this world a much better place!
Left by Brett lonsdale on May 07, 2010 3:49 AM

# re: A view from the call center for the Nashville Flood telethon
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I also live in Nashville. I have seen so many people volunteer and donate. When we see all that is going on in our country that is not so good right now it is good to hear that people are still willing to lend a hand to others.
Left by Denise Tinsley on May 08, 2010 6:47 AM

# re: A view from the call center for the Nashville Flood telethon
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I have often wondered whether the kindness and generosity in people is always present but is only really evident during hard times.

The lights are always on but can only be seen clearly in the darkness.
Left by Luke Price on May 19, 2010 3:00 AM

# re: A view from the call center for the Nashville Flood telethon
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Excellent work Rob. Being part of social community activity makes life more happy and wish Nashville to recover well. Good to hear that there are lots of helping hands, which makes me more happy.
Left by Gangadhar Kotu on Aug 28, 2010 9:30 PM

# re: A view from the call center for the Nashville Flood telethon
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Left by cityboy on Oct 10, 2010 9:44 PM

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