The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) members, chapters, and staff recently came together to offer assistance to disaster relief efforts in New York City. After collecting truckloads of hardhats, gloves, glasses, respirator masks, and rain gear, they shipped the supplies to the command center set up by the NECA New York City Chapter to coordinate collection and distribution of goods, monetary donations, and manpower to the rescue and clean-up efforts. Together, the group filled three warehouses to capacity with supplies. Although NECA national headquarters raised more than $35,000 for the American Red Cross, the organization also plans to set up a special fund to benefit the children of the many electricians who lost their lives.

According to International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 3 officials, more than 200 IBEW Local 3 members were stationed in numerous locations throughout the two World Trade Center towers at the time of the attack. Initially, the AFL-CIO reported 52 workers from IBEW Local 3 were missing. That number shrunk to 25 with a Sept. 11 statement from Local 3, and now stands at 15. Officials couldn't say whether any of those already accounted for had perished in the attack.

"I know we have all heard these stories all week. The outpouring of support is amazing. We had members who were in the Pentagon and at ground zero at the World Trade Center pitching in the very next day," said NECA Director of Public Relations Emilio J. Rouco. "My phone has been ringing non-stop as concerned members and chapters have called in to ask how they can help. There is a real sense of compassion and brotherhood."

At present, checks continue to pour in. NECA plans to future donations to representatives at the Red Cross headquarters in Washington, DC.

Photo courtesy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Washington, D.C.