When I first arrived in NYC from Italy in December 2007 I had a tough time to find my space and adapt to the energetic and apparent closeness of the people. I was trying to grasp the spirit of the city and its people, of which I had heard so many times, particularly in relation to the incredible examples of resilience and generosity after the tragedy of 9/11. I could not. Then I read about the American Red Cross giving “Reserve Institutes” for potential volunteers. Volunteering had always been part of my life in Italy and most places where I had lived. I also wanted to give something back to the city that was hosting me and my family. I discovered something really impressive: People with extremely different backgrounds and experiences, very interesting in most cases, coming to give their time and dedication. I also discovered parts of NYC where I found extremely interesting stories and cultures. One year later, I am also a DAT (Disaster Action Team) member. I wish I had more time but I also want to be with my kids when I leave work. I feel very lucky, 'cause I found NYC spirit in the American Red Cross. The amazing response to the Haiti earthquake is just the latest example.