The legacy left behind by the brave men and women who saved lives and gave their own on September 11, 2001, is anything but forgotten. Their children and families live on, and the solidarity brought about by those horrific events remains a silver lining on one of our history’s darkest days. As you enjoy the usual late-summer barbecues and back-to-school shopping, please consider donating to or volunteering with one of these excellent organizations to show support for your community’s real-life American heroes.


Assist the Kids

The youngest children affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks are teenagers now, but
their losses will remain with them for life. Tuesday’s Children is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting young people traumatized by terrorism, and it is among the most successful and trusted of the numerous charities that sprang up in the aftermath of the tragedy. Donations are always needed, but there is a wealth of mentorship opportunities available as well.


Exercise for Firefighters

Every September the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) organizes a 9/11 memorial event called a Stair Climb to honor the FDNY firefighters who perished in the line of duty. The first Stair Climb was held in Denver, Colorado, in 2005, and since then several U.S. states have followed suit. Check out this list of currently participating states. If your state isn’t listed, consider contacting the NFFF to organize one!


Sponsor a Search and Rescue Dog

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) identifies and trains foster dogs to serve FEMA during natural disasters and similar events, and to track missing persons. For victims trapped underneath thick piles of rubble, rescue dogs are their best chance of survival. By getting involved with SDF, you’ll help save lives both human and canine, and you’ll ensure that Search and Rescue teams across the country have the resources they need to serve their communities.


Volunteer, Give Blood, or Teach a Class

There are many ways to support the American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization that has been providing disaster relief and military support for over 130 years. While monetary donation is a quick and effective show of support, fundraising, volunteering, taking or teaching a class on lifesaving skills, and hosting a blood drive are all unique ways to contribute. Take a look at the Red Cross Support page to discover how you can help!


Stand With Lieutenant Dan

Perhaps the most interesting organization on this list is the Gary Sinise Foundation. You may remember Sinise as the taciturn, wheelchair-bound Lieutenant Dan in the movie Forrest Gump. The actor behind the character is a passionate supporter of first responders, veterans, emergency medical personnel, and police forces. His foundation organizes everything from outreach efforts and housing assistance to concerts, commemorative festivals, USO tours, and more.

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