Christmas and the New Year is a great time to reflect on the kindness of Americans. We live in a nation that has been the greatest force for good in the history of mankind, and we live amongst the most generous people the world has ever seen.
A recent example of this was featured in the Wall Street Journal. Frank Siller, the CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, is driven by the mission to pay off mortgages for families of military members and emergency responders killed in the line of duty. For those seriously injured during service, the foundation builds custom “smart homes” to help them regain independence and lead lives of dignity.
Established one month after 9/11, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation became Siller’s response to help others after losing his brother Stephen on that dreadful day. Stephen, a New York City Firefighter, got held up in tunnel traffic on his way to the World Trade Center but heroically strapped on his gear and ran to Manhattan on foot. He raced to the towers to help, but he never came home.
Not only did Frank Siller’s foundation assist Stephen’s wife and five children, but, in the years since, thousands of donors, businesses, sponsors, and supporters have raised more than $500 million, built 120 smart homes, paid off mortgages for 480 families, and provided housing for more than 500 homeless veterans. In telling his story to the Wall Street Journal, Siller said, “It is because of the goodness of America that we can help the greatness of America.”
This is one of many incredible stories of generosity as we celebrate this season of giving and hope.