9/11 Charity Initiatives and Their Success or Failure

Written by on October 16, 2012 in Money - No comments | Print this page

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Since the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, many of those touched by that fateful day have gone on to start charitable organizations dedicated to the memory of the tragedy.  Shocked by what they saw on their television sets, Americans and people from all around the world rallied and gave generously in the wake of 9/11, raising over 1.5 billion dollars.  Charity fundraisers were carried out all across the country to raise money for the families of the fallen.

Over 11 years after the events of 9/11, only 1% of the charities that were founded in the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack in history still remain.  Some of the charities formed in the wake of 9/11 have had a significant impact on the lives of those touched by the tragedy.  Others did what they could and eventually faded away.  Here is a look at some of the charities that remain, and some that are no longer around.

Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund

Cantor Fitzgerald – a global financial services firm – occupied the offices on the 101st to 105th floors of 1 World Trade Center.  Out of all the companies who had offices in the Twin Towers, Cantor Fitzgerald – suffered the greatest loss of life.  In total, 658 of Cantor Fitzgerald’s 960 employees perished on 9/11 – two thirds of their entire workforce.

In the wake of 9/11, Cantor Fitzgerald formed the The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund to assist the families of Cator Fitzgerald employees who lost their lives in the 9/11 tragedy.  The charity continues to assist the families of Cantor Fitzgerald employees who lost their lives on 9/11, but the firm’s charity efforts have also expanded to support other global causes.

Cantor Fitzgerald holds an annual charity day every September 11th to commemorate the tragedy of 9/11 and raise funds for the Cantor Relief Fund, as well as to distribute funds to charities around the world.  Beyond their fundraising and memorial efforts, Cantor Fitzgerald & Co – along with their affiliate BGC Partners Inc – donate 100% of their worldwide revenues every September 11th to the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, as well as charities all over the world.

The September 11th Fund

The September 11th Fund raised and collected 534 million dollars from donors in the wake of 9/11.  It was created by the United Way of New York City and the New York Community Trust.  The proceeds raised by the September 11th Fund were distributed as grants to other non-profits that provided counseling, cash, and other essential services to victims and their families.

By the end of 2004, the September 11th Fund had disbursed all its funds and ceased operations.  In total, $528 million was distributed by The September 11th Fund to aid 9/11 victims and their families.  Thanks to the generosity of the United Way and the New York Community Trust, most of the administrative costs of managing the fund were covered by these charities.

9/11 Day & MyGoodDeed

9/11 Day was created in 2002 by two New Yorkers who were personally touched by the tragedy.  Under the organization name of MyGoodDeed, 9/11 Day is dedicated to encouraging charity and good deeds every year on September 11th, as a way of paying tribute to the memory of 9/11 victims.  The board of MyGoodDeed now consists of leaders from 20 different organizations, representing everyone from families of 9/11 victims, volunteers, first responders, and other groups affected by 9/11.

In 2009, MyGoodDeed successfully secured a formal designation recognizing September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.  Even today, MyGoodDeed continues to promote September 11th as a day of remembrance and charity.

Tuesday’s Children

On Tuesday September 11th, 2011, thousands of people lost their lives.  But the events didn’t just impact those who were at ground zero – thousands of children lost their parents as well.  Tuesday’s Children is dedicated to providing non-financial support services to the families of the 9/11 victims.  Their mission is to ensure that the children of 9/11 victims get the support they need to overcome the tragedy and become productive adults.

Perhaps due to its long term mission, Tuesday’s Children is one of the few 9/11 charities that is still around, over 11 years later.  Tuesday’s Children has also expanded their mission to assists the families of American soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Although it has been over a decade since the 9/11 tragedy, Tuesday’s Children still relies on the generosity of the public to continue their mission.

This guest post was written by Endre R., a social media expert with a keen interest in sustainability. He is also guest writer and freelance blogger, representing Pro Bono Australia, an online social enterprise. You can follow his latest rants on Twitter and Google+.

Image courtesy of thephotoholic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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