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Alison Thompson, was a filmmaker living in New York City when saw the reports of a 9.3 magnitude earthquake and massive tsunami near Indonesia. Her single thought as she watched the death count rise was going and helping.
See also: Elderly hardest hit by disasters.
In her book The Third Wave: A Volunteer Story Thompson tells how she headed to Sri Lanka along with a small team of volunteers, $300 dollars in cash, and some basic medical supplies. She chose a coastal town hit especially hard to establish a refugee camp and hospital.
Thompson and her volunteers were shocked as the extent of the damage became apparent. The task of rebuilding seemed monumental. They began feverishly tending injuries, giving out food, water and medicine, collecting dead bodies, and playing games with the children. When she had volunteered help at Ground Zero several years earlier, she'd learned first-hand that when disaster strikes, every single person can make a difference.
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