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.
Message from the Director
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.
As we begin the new year we would like to thank our donors and partners for your support in 2018! Thanks to your generosity Voices of September 11th continues our mission of providing critical support services and access to resources and mental health care for victims' families, survivors and responders.
During the month of October VOICES is promoting mental health awareness. Did you know that one in five Americans is affected by a mental health condition in a given year? However, many do not seek care and their conditions are untreated due to the stigma of mental illness.
VOICES Resiliency Symposium: Knowledge to Practice, Pathways to Long-Term Healing was held on Sunday, September 9 in New York City. The event focused on providing a victim-centered approach to responding to acts of terrorism and mass violence and bridging the gap between research and practice.
As we gather to commemorate the 17th Anniversary - in New York City, at the Pentagon, in Shanksville, PA and in local communities, we remember the 2,977 precious lives lost on that tragic day. September 11 is also a day to remember all those who have been affected since.