Gifts That Truly Count
9/11 FAMILIES AND FRIENDS building a safer world
BY GENE STEUERLE
“WHAT A DIFF’RENCE A DAY MAKES”
Remember that old song? What a difference a
day makes. For many families, September 11,
2001 was that day – a day when the voices of
hate conspired to shorten the lives of so many
wonderful people including my wife, Norma
Steuerle, who died on the flight that crashed in
Washington. But it was also a day when other
voices were heard. Friends, neighbors, colleagues
and strangers responded with an extraordinarily
generous outpouring of assistance and kindness.
My daughters and I felt then, and still do,
that the heartfelt response of so many not only
expressed concern and compassion, but also the
desire of each individual to respond personally
and take a stand against terror.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE AN
Grateful for this outpouring of goodwill, we
joined with other September 11th families
and friends who were similarly inspired by the
encouragement they themselves had received to
generate more good in the world out of our
disaster. We formed the nonprofit, nonpartisan
organization Our Voices Together.
My colleague Len Burman at the Urban
Institute lost his friend Leslie Whittington on
September 11th and subsequently raised more
than $100,000 to support health care in Haiti
by cycling across the U.S. with his son. Sally
Goodrich lost her son Peter on September 11th.
An administrator for schools in Massachusetts,
Sally is building and equipping a girls’ school
in Afghanistan. Susan Retik and Patti Quiqley
were both pregnant and widowed on September
11th. They formed Beyond the 11th, an organization
that provides support for widows affected
by war and terrorism in other countries.
Our response to terrorism is to make the
change we wish to see in the world and encourage
others to join us in this endeavor.
GIFTS THAT COUNT
In September 2005 we formally launched www.
OurVoicesTogether.org and our online “Gifts
That Count” gift shop. This holiday season, you
can make a difference through a gift to a friend or
loved one. You make a tax-deductible donation,
a worthy cause gets the contribution, and your
loved one gets a beautiful certificate as a symbol
of your thoughtful gift.
The Our Voices Together Virtual Gift
Shop supports specific international development
projects, many chosen to honor the lives
of loved ones killed by terrorist acts. Consider
buying your family or friends a very special gift.
Give something in their name to those who
need it most. Gifts range from job training for
women in Afghanistan to emergency schools for
displaced children in West Darfur, Sudan. Gift
costs range from $20 to $50,000.
How does that old song end?
“What a diff ’rence a day made and the
difference is you”