This week we’d like to introduce you to Lorna Pierce, a long-time supporter of TIFF’s Initiative. Lorna has worked with Christine since the formation of this not-for-profit in the capacity of bookkeeper, helping Christine get set up financially. She plays a vital role in the operations of TIFF, but Lorna is motivated by a much deeper purpose behind what she does.
When she met Christine, Lorna was volunteering at the Children’s Memorial Garden in Sarasota. You see, just like Christine, Lorna had lost a child in a car accident, too. She found ways to stay connected, receive support and experience healing through volunteering with others who had been through something similar. In Lorna’s case, she and her husband had left their kids with friends to interview for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in California. They had a bright future waiting for them and they were excited. Heading to the airport to fly back home to their boys, they got the call no parent ever wants to receive. Their youngest son had been killed in a crash, just two weeks before his 13th birthday. It has now been 18 years since that dreadful day. For Lorna, “the 13th anniversary was the hardest- it meant he had been gone as long as he’d been with us.”
For years, her family dreaded the month of August. It marks the month her son died, but also the birthdays he will no longer celebrate. Lorna’s birthday is in August, too- she spent her 36th birthday planning her son’s funeral. But a few years ago, all of that changed with the birth of her first granddaughter, also in August. They now pour their joy into this little life who has brought new meaning to a season marked with grief.
When asked how Lorna feels TIFF will make an impact on our world, she had some very pragmatic thoughts on the matter. Her oldest son in now an EMT, and has pointed out that first responders are on a scene to help bodies, not communicate to people who aren’t there. Their main purpose is not to find someone’s cell phone and figure out who might be important enough to call. They are there to tend to the people in front of them. Many people think, “I’ll just keep contact info in my cell phone, since it’s always with me.” Do you have a lock on your phone, requiring a code or fingerprint to get in? That won’t help police if you’re unresponsive. When police arrive on a scene, they will find and run driver’s licenses. They attempt to contact family using the address on the license. Lorna pointed out that college students, specifically, usually do not have their current residence on their license. It probably lists their home address, not their apartment in their college town. If you’ve moved and haven’t updated your license, police will have a difficult time tracking down you or your loved ones in the event of an emergency.
This is where TIFF comes in. By taking 3 minutes to register yourself and your family FOR FREE with our Emergency Contact Information System, you will be sure that, in an emergency, police will run your license, your ECI will pop up, and they can make the appropriate phone call. Make sure you and your loved ones are within reach. It may not prevent accidents, but it will prevent additional confusion and heartache during such a chaotic time. Ask any parent that has been through this- being registered makes a difference.