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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Movers & Shakers of the Financial Community Trading Places in New York

The New York City Rescue Mission on 9/11

On that terrible day, September 11, 2001, the New York City Rescue Mission's executive director Jim VarnHagen and his wife, Anita, were in their car at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel when the planes hit the World Trade Center. Everything was immediately shut down and traffic was rerouted back into New Jersey. VarnHagen called the Rescue Mission on his cell phone and said to print up handbills announcing that the mission was open to help anyone that needed it. They immediately posted the notices on buildings and lamp posts as near to the World Trade Center as possible. Hundreds of men and women came, many without shoes, clothing ripped from their backs and covered with white dust.

What was remarkable about the event was the role reversal. Instead of the rich and powerful ministering to the homeless, it was the poor broken residents of the New York City Rescue Mission that printed up and posted the handbills. Then, when the victims streamed in, many of them movers and shakers in the financial community this group of humble, homeless men got them into hot showers, clothed them, fed them, prayed with them and hugged them. "No one rejected prayer that day," said VarnHagen.
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