9/11 Reflection and Remembrance: NAR Staff Recollections

REALTORS® Housing Relief Fund brings help, hope to September 11 victims' families. Taking the calls was anguishing, inspiring

September 1, 2002

“We were on the front lines, helping people. I was so proud to be a part of this organization,” says Information Specialist Kerri Walsh. Walsh and 22 other staff members from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Information Central and the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council manned the phones non-stop for weeks after September 11, taking donations from REALTORS® and helping grieving families apply for housing assistance.

“All the phones were hooked together; John Krukoff, (managing director of Information Central) brought in pizza, and we only got up to go to the restroom,” remembers Walsh.

The work was both heartwarming and heart wrenching. “I took one call from a man who said he was calling to get an application for his son. He said his son wouldn’t call. Even though it was three weeks after the attacks, the son wouldn’t admit his wife wasn’t coming back,” recalls Karen Janisch of Information Central.

“We still get calls today from people who lost their jobs as a result of September 11th and need help with mortgage payments or rent. We’ve distributed all our funds, but we use a list developed by the NAR Library to refer them to other sources that might help them,” says Krukoff.

The Information Central team recently watched the video on the REALTORS® Housing Relief Fund that was shown at the Midyear Legislative Meetings & Expo in Washington, D.C., in May, reliving a part of their experience over the last year.

“When we heard those letters of thanks from recipients, we realized that we’d really made a difference,” says Krukoff.

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