When NYC resident and filmmaker Alison Thompson rushed to Ground Zero on 9/11, her life changed. She discovered that volunteering is not only for experts—everyone has something to offer. When the 2004 Asian tsunami struck she again felt called. Generating resources and working with likeminded people in Peraliya, a Sri Lanka coastal village, she spent 14 months helping with first aid, in schools and shelters, and even searching for bodies. Thompson’s current volunteer work focuses on relief efforts after the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but she still works with Sri Lanka. She’s chronicled much of her volunteer experiences in her new book, The Third Wave. See what Thompson had to say about her book in this Q&A.