Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Gifts That Truly Count

9/11 FAMILIES AND FRIENDS building a safer world

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.

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.



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”



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