Cities

Welles Crowther's senior quote in his high school yearbook was the simple adage, "There is no 'I' in team." As a lacrosse and hockey player, he lived that motto through sports. As a volunteer firefighter, he lived that motto through service. As as equities trader working on the 104th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11, he lived that motto through selfless heroism that saved others' lives and cost him his own.

Crowther was just 24 years old when the planes struck. From that tragic moment until the tower fell, survivors say he led others to safety, repeatedly returning to the 78th floor lobby where people were stranded and guiding them down the one working stairway to where firefighters could take the to a working elevator. He had the opportunity to save himself—if he had gone with the first group of people he rescued, he could have made it out of the building before it collapsed. But he kept going back to save more lives.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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