Brittney Lauriat wrote -
As some of you may know, I am going through the process to become an FDNY EMT. I've always loved helping people and giving back when I am able to. This will be my first 5K and I am happy that it will be the Tunnels to Towers run.
I remember 9/11 vividly. I was an 11 year old 6th grader who was in 3rd period Math class. My principal went over the loud speaker and said, very vaguely, that there were attacks close by in Manhattan. Growing up in Brooklyn, I was always able to see the city. My teacher, fell to his knees and said that his son was in the city and began to cry. Us being a class of 10 and 11 year olds, we are confused and terrified. The next period was lunch and my mother came and picked me up from school, already had my sister in tow. I remember feeling so guilty leaving my friends at school. What if something happened to them? What if something happened to my dad? My friends parents? Us?
My Dad worked as a union carpenter most of my life and I knew he always worked near the WTC buildings. My mom told my sister and I that bad things were happening and the safest place to be right now was home. I remember getting home and running to the phone to call my dad and of course, there was no answer. We tried for hours and hours, as we watched the coverage on TV, as we watched the smoke in the pink sky, as papers flew around in the light, thick wind. It would be hours later that we heard from my dad and I cried and cried, so happy he was okay and home.
We should always give back to those who risk their lives everyday for the people of our communities. So many have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe, keep us alive. The least we can do is help their families, give them financial relief and hopefully take the pain away, if only for a second. So, I thank you for contributing to my 5K, I want to show these families that there are good people, just like the ones they so devastingly lost, who care and love them.
About the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation
The Siller Family started the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to honor the memory of their brother, Stephen, a New York City firefighter (FDNY) who lost his life on September 11, 2001. The Foundation was built upon the mantra, “while we have time, LET US DO GOOD,” and continues Stephen’s legacy by supporting our nation’s first responders and service members.
Firefighter Stephen Siller lost his life while saving others. In his memory, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation developed the In the Line of Duty Program to honor the heroes that risk their lives every day. To date, the Foundation has spent over $100 million supporting the military and fallen first responders and their families. Our newest addition, the Gold Star Family Home Program, honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country by providing the surviving spouses and young children with a brand new, mortgage-free home.
The Smart Home Program provides mortgage-free smart homes to our most catastrophically injured service members. Each home is custom designed to address the unique needs of each individual.
Finally, the Fallen First Responder Home Program pays off the remaining mortgages for families left behind when a firefighter or police officer is killed in the line of duty. Upon hearing news of the tragic loss of a first responder, Tunnel to Towers deploys a rapid response team to immediately provide support to the family.
Your hard work on behalf of the Foundation helps us provide the support the families of our military and first responders so desperately need.
PROMOTION: Fundraise at least $250 to your campaign between May 12, 2019 at 2:00pm ET and September 24, 2019 at 11:59:59pm ET for a chance to win a 2019 GMC Terrain. Every additional $250 raised is another entry to win. Click Here for Official Rules. No purchase necessary to enter or win. Void where prohibited.
Email NYC@tunnel2towers.org for answers to any other questions you might have.