Outsider proudly backs our country’s veterans and troops. To that end, we recognize the sacrifices they continue to make and try to honor them by sharing their stories. Another branch of heroes we like to recognize includes first responders. We love watching “9-1-1” as much as the next guy, but the personal stories of their families are just as important as their representation in media. One charitable organization is looking to make a big difference for the families of 50 late first responders. They’re called the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and here’s what you need to know.
How the Tunnel to Towers Foundation Supports First Responders Every Day
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation came about after the passing of Firefighter Stephen Gerard Siller on September 11th, 2001. The name comes from his journey from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers. This also marks where he lost his life saving others. Stephen lost both of his parents early on and was actually raised by his older siblings. You can read more about his story here.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation says its mission is to support firefighters like Stephen Gerard Siller, as well as other first responders and military members. They host a variety of events throughout the year to fundraise, but they also build houses and organize a traveling mobile exhibit focused on the events of 9/11. Most recently, they celebrated their largest one-day mortgage payoff in the Foundation’s history. They directly helped families across 18 different states. In alphabetical order, these states include the following: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
The Foundation’s CEO and Chairman, Frank Siller, offered this statement:
“This year, Americans came together to remember the incredible loss of life that occurred 20 years ago when evil struck at the heart of our great nation. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation promised to NEVER FORGET what happened on that day and so many people across the country have joined us on our mission of doing good by giving back to our heroes, both living and fallen. Thanks to the generosity of this great nation, these 50 families will never have to worry about making another mortgage payment, and will always have a place to call home.”
Who They Helped
The Foundation keeps a special place in their hearts for firefighters like Stephen. The mortgage gesture actually helped 12 firefighters, 5 of which lost their lives while responding to the attacks of 9/11 at Ground Zero. They also aided 20 police officers, 15 of which lost their lives under the same circumstances. Also on the receiving end of the mortgage payments include 1 Sheriff’s Deputy, 1 State Trooper, and 1 Conservation Officer. They didn’t forget about military families either, aiding the families of 6 U.S. Army members, 3 U.S. Navy members, 3 U.S. Marine Corpsmen, and 3 U.S. Air Force members.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation provided this link in order to view pictures and bios of every hero that they helped.