IMAGINE Magazine-Spring2016 - Page 17

crisis . “ These were the organizations whose mission it was to respond to human tragedy , and to actually see them letting people drown , to see them letting babies freeze to death , to see them letting people starve , when it was so easy to fix , was absolutely shocking ,” she says emphatically .
There were thousands needing help day and night . Most nights an hour of sleep for the volunteers was generous . One night heading to bed four people showed up to tell Zoë they had been robbed at the Turkish border and their baby had the flu . “ So what are you going to do ? Tell them you ’ re tired and have a cough ?” says Zoë .
At one point Zoë had a profound revelation . Her own grandparents escaped from Nazi Germany . “ I can ’ t tell you when that occurred to me what it felt like . What I was able to do for the refuges had been done for my family decades ago . I wouldn ’ t even exist if people hadn ’ t broken laws to help my grandparents . My grandfather was a Jewish doctor living in Austria . One afternoon a patient who was a Nazi officer came to his office and said ‘ they are coming for you right now .’ He met his mother at the train station , and never saw her again . He hid in the train car bathroom , and when the ticket taker found him without a ticket , he decided to let him continue on to Switzerland and to safety .
“ Another lesson I got for my time in Lesvos is that it really , really takes a village . Each person brings a gift . One woman turns discarded boats and life jackets into backpacks . Another who is a lifeguard pulls drowning babies out of the water and a doctor revives them . Another is distributing food and clothing , and still another is building infrastructure in the camps .
It takes everybody , and no gift is too small ,” she asserts .
With the thousands of dollars Zoë raised she began spending it . She took people to hotels ; she bought them food and clothing , tents , and airline tickets to other countries . If they needed something , she got it for them . She was a one-woman , guerilla humanitarian force backed by friends in Sedona and beyond who kept sending her funds . “ I became known as someone who could help . And every time I did something for anyone , I said , ‘ This is not from me ; it ’ s from my friends in America .’ You could see their surprise and 90 percent of the time , they would cry and thank me over and over .” Zoë got a message from some refugees she helped to get to Germany : “ It was just a small tent and just a little warmth , but it was your smile that gave us what we needed to continue .”
“ I think one of the things that people don ’ t always know about empathy is that when you get over the fear and show up , even though you don ’ t know what to do , the payoff is tenthousand fold . For me there is so much richness in my life when I show up ,” reflects Zoë . Was she able to process her ordeal to recognize that she too was suffering from PTSD ? Was her PTSD training and work as a caregiver working ? Now back in Sedona that ’ s mostly a yes . However , some searing images and words will never fade . “ In Lesvos I heard stories that took me three days to wrap my mind around . I literally couldn ’ t make my lips form the words to retell them . I have never experienced that before in my life .”
Mostly Zoë is left with questions . How did there come to be such a breakdown in humanity ? Besides the corruption , the greed , the rip-offs , where were the governments and global institutions geared for this level of suffering ? And there are much deeper questions that all of us need to confront . “ If we are born empathetic what is it that happens that causes some people to become the kind of person that would sell a fake lifejacket to a child ? Or take a suffering family ’ s entire savings to put them in a ‘ lifeboat ’ that could easily end up killing them ? If we don ’ t look at those things , we won ’ t get anywhere and nothing changes .”
Zoë got to spend time with her mother after more than five weeks in Lesvos . They went together to Trinidad for what would be her mom ’ s last compassionate adventure for Habitat for Humanity . It was deeply moving and a special time for both . Shortly after the trip , Zoë was boarding a plane to Boston , her mom in failing health . Within days , Zoë ’ s mother — her mentor , role model , co-adventurer , and lifelong friend ... compassionate and concerned for others to the end — with a well-prepared and serene mind passed peacefully .

* * * As a result of her experience in Greece , Zoë is founding an NGO , One Light Global ( www . onelightglobal . org ) and devoting her life to humanitarian work around the globe . The organization will initially support refugee children , many of whom have lost both parents . Please kindly consider supporting her work by donating to her tax exempt organization . “ I was one light on the beach in the dark , shining so they could find their way . One light , that ’ s sometimes all we can do .”

IMAGINE l SPRING 2016 17
crisis. “These were the organizations whose mission it was to respond to human tragedy, and to actually see them letting people drown, to see them letting babies freeze to death, to see them letting people starve, when it was so easy to fix, was absolutely shocking,” she says emphatically. There were thousands needing help day and night. Most nights an hour of sleep for the volunteers was generous. One night heading to bed four people showed up to tell Zoë they had been robbed at the Turkish border and their baby had the flu. “So what are you going to do? Tell them you’re tired and have a cough?” says Zoë. At one point Zoë had a profound revelation. Her own grandparents escaped from Nazi Germany. “I can’t tell you when that occurred to me what it felt like. What I was able to do for the refuges had been done for my family decades ago. I wouldn’t even exist if people hadn’t broken laws to help my grandparents. My grandfather was a Jewish doctor living in Austria. One afternoon a patient who was a Nazi officer came to his office and said ‘they are coming for you right now.’ He met his mother at the train station, and never saw her again. He hid in the train car bathroom, and when the ticket taker found him without a ticket, he decided to let him continue on to Switzerland and to safety. “Another lesson I got for my time in Lesvos is that it really, really takes a village. Each person brings a gift. One woman turns discarded boats and life jackets into backpacks. Another who is a lifeguard pulls drowning babies out of the water and a doctor revives them. Another is distributing food and clothing, and still another is building infrastructure in the camps. It takes everybody, and no gift is too small,” she asserts. With the thousands of dollars Zoë raised she began spending it. She took people to hotels; she bought them food and clothing, tents, and airline tickets to other countries. If they needed something, she got it for them. She was a one-woman, guerilla humanitarian force backed by friends in Sedona and beyond who kept sending her funds. “I became known as someone who could help. And every time I did something for anyone, I said, ‘This is not from me; it’s from my friends in America.’ You could see their surprise and 90 percent of the time, they would cry and thank me over and over.” Zoë got a message from some refugees she helped to get to Germany: “It was just a small tent and just a little warmth, but it was your smile that gave us what we needed to continue.” “I think one of the things that people don’t always know about empathy is that when you get over the fear and show up, even though you don’t know what to do, the payoff is tenthousand fold. For me there is so much richness in my life when I show up,” reflects Zoë. Was she able to pr 6W70W"&FVF&V6v旦RFB6RFv27VffW&rg&E4Cv2W E4BG&rBv&26&VvfW v&sr&66VFFN( 07FǒW2vWfW"6R6V&pvW2Bv&G2vWfW"fFR( ĖW7f2V&B7F&W2FBFPF&VRF2Fw&ג֖B&VBऒƗFW&ǒ6VF( BRגƗ2f&ЧFRv&G2F&WFVFVfRWfW WW&V6VBFB&Vf&RגƖfR( Ф7Fǒ:2VgBvFVW7F2rFBFW&R6RF&R7V6'&VFvVG&W6FW0FR6''WFFRw&VVBFR&fg2vW&RvW&RFRvfW&VG2@v&7FGWF2vV&VBf"F2WfVb7VffW&sBFW&R&RV6FVWW"VW7F2FBbW2VVBF6g&B( ĖbvR&R&&VFWF0vB2BFBV2FB6W6W06RVRF&V6RFRB`W'6FBvVB6VfRƖfV6WBF6C"FR7VffW&pf֖Ǟ( 2VF&R6fw2FWBFVЦ( ƖfV&N( FB6VBV6ǒVBWƖrFVbvRF( BBF6PFw2vRv( BvWBvW&R@Fr6vW2( Х:vBF7VBFRvFW FW"gFW"&RFffRvVV2W7f2FWvVBFvWFW"FG&FBf"vBvVB&RW"( 27@676FRGfVGW&Rf"&F@f"VGBv2FVWǒfpB7V6FRf"&F6'FǒgFW"FRG&:v2&&FrPF&7FW"fƖrVFvFF2:( 2FW.( FW"VF"&RFV6GfVGW&W"@ƖfVrg&VB676FR@66W&VBf"FW'2FFRVN( GvFvV&W&VBB6W&VR֖@76VBV6VgVǒࠢ2&W7VBbW"WW&V6Rw&VV6R:2fVFrtRƖv@v&wwrVƖvFv&&r@FWfFrW"ƖfRFVF&v&&VBFRv&RFR&v旦FvFǒ7W'B&VgVvVR6G&VbvfR7B&F&VG2V6RFǒ66FW"7W'FrW"v&'FFrFW FWVB&v旦F( Ēv2PƖvBFR&V6FRF&6p6FW6VBfBFV"vRƖvBFN( 26WFW2vR6F( РtR5$r#bp