The past few months have been the most difficult period many of us have ever faced in our lifetime. While in the midst of a global pandemic, we have witnessed the senseless killing of George Floyd, followed by peaceful protests and ensuing unrest that resulted in violence and destruction of our cities.
Message from the Director
I hope this note finds you and your family safe and healthy! We are all in this together! A phrase that rings true since our communities began enforcing social-distancing due to the COVID-19 virus. Typically, spring is a time of rebirth and renewal, when we gather to celebrate family traditions around Easter, Passover and Ramadan.
The spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the most serious global health threat we have faced in our lifetime. Many communities around the world have imposed much-needed restrictions by implementing quarantines and social distancing to slow down the spread of the virus. What was once a casual greeting, “How are you?” has real meaning in light of the spread of the virus.
May the holiday season fill your home with joy, your heart with love, and your life with laughter. Wishing you and your family a happy holiday, and very best wishes for all good things in the New Year. With heartfelt thanks for your support and gratitude for our work together in the year ahead!
The holidays are a time for all of us at VOICES to count our many blessings and thank each of you who have contributed to our work this year. Your generous support and donation of time and talent has provided us with the opportunity to help thousands of individuals, making a difference in their lives and the well-being of their families. The programs you support have given these remarkable individuals hope and healing.
VOICES hosted our Annual Resiliency Symposium and Information Forum on September 9 and 10 in New York City. The two-day event included presentations, panel discussion and workshops by leading experts who shared their expertise along with updates on available resources. This year we were honored to have a delegation from Canada in attendance, along with representatives from organizations working in the United States and abroad.
The US Senate voted 97-2 in favor of the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act, joining the House of Representatives in supporting legislation that will provide compensation for responders and survivorswho are suffering and dying from life-threatening illnesses due to their exposure to toxins in the aftermath of the attacks.
It is with deep sorrow that we regret to inform you that our dear friend and leader, Kurt Wolfgruber, passed away peacefully this morning following a brief, but serious illness. For over a decade Kurt served as Chairman of the Board at Voices of September 11th, with dedication and commitment to ensuring that all those impacted by 9/11 and other tragedies have the support they need to heal.
The heartbreaking news of the recent suicides of two Parkland students and the father of a child who was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting is a sobering reminder of the profound long-term impact these tragedies have on families, survivors, and the community-at-large.
Responders and survivors stricken with 9/11-related illnesses need our help. In the days and months following the attacks, over 90,000 responders who worked in the recovery effort and 400,000 survivors who lived, worked, or went to school in the area were exposed to toxins in Lower Manhattan. Today over 40,000 are in treatment for life-threatening illnesses, including over 100 cancers.