Good Neighbors

Australian Teen Joins Worldwide Movement On 9/11

Each year, she honors the lives lost on September 11th by doing good deeds for others – and you can join her!

The horrific events that took place nineteen years ago today shocked the whole world, with people of every race, age and creed vowing to "never forget" the thousands of lives that were lost that day. While the tragedy took place on U.S. soil, Americans aren't the only ones who mourn the tragedy of the September 11th terrorist attacks each year.

Even though teenager Rebecca Sweeney couldn't live further away from Ground Zero, she's honoring 9/11 by helping others. Sweeney lives in Sydney, Australia, and while she wanted to do something to commemorate the fallen, she shares another special connection to the fateful date – September 11th is her birthday.

"The events of 9/11 don't get talked about anywhere near as much here as it obviously does over there in America," Sweeney told Fox News. "I think it's important to remind people that, yes, it happened, and there are good things we can bring out of the memory of it."

Rebecca Sweeney lives in Australia and she marks 9/11 (also her birthday) each year by doing kind things for others. Screenshot: Fox News

So this year, instead of celebrating her 'Sweet 16' with a party and tons of friends, Sweeney is making and distributing care packages to coronavirus testing staff in her community.

She was inspired to take on the project after learning about the Pay It Forward 9/11 organization that was started in 2002 to encourage people to do three good deeds for strangers on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks on America.

Hear Pay It Forward 9/11's founder Kevin Tuerff talk about this year's mission and hear the story of a 9/11 survivor....

video c/o Pay It Forward 9/11 Facebook

This year, the organization is focusing on kindness acts for healthcare heroes, essential workers and the arts.

"The workers at all of the coronavirus testing stations work so hard and it's a thankless job really, because everyone just wants to go there and get out as quicky as possible," Sweeney said. "The idea of doing something for them, they deserve it."

Screenshot: Fox News

Sweeney first became involved with Pay It Forward 9/11 after she visited Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City a few years ago. After leaving a heartfelt message in the museum's visitors diary, she got a message from Kevin Tuerff, the organization's president and founder, asking her to help spread their mission.

This year, 9/11 Pay It Forward is encouraging people to do acts of kindness for first responders, essential workers and those involved in the arts. Pay It Forward 9/11 Facebook

While the memories of September 11th, 2001 may have faded from peoples' minds, especially those in other parts of the world, Sweeney hopes that by paying it forward she'll inspire others to give back.

"It is something that we still think about, and it's nice just to remind people that yes, it happened, but there's good things that we can bring out of it," she said.

Sweeney, pictured here with Kevin Tuerff (L) and her father (R), got involved with the organization after visiting NYC three years ago. Screenshot: Fox News

What an inspiring young woman! Hopefully others will take her lead and find ways to 'pay it forward' in their own communities.

How can you start something good?

You can learn more about 9/11 Pay It Forward and find out how you can get involved by clicking here. You can make a donation to help the organization continue to spread its mission around the world by clicking here.

Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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