Community Issues

Senate Passes Bill to Replenish 9/11 Victims Fund

Senate votes overwhelmingly in favor of extending funding to survivors and families of 9/11 victims. We let you know how you can help, too!

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill to ensure funding for 9/11 victims and their families until 2092, essentially making the funding permanent. Despite setbacks of two Republican senators to block the bill (Sen. Rand Paul/R-KY and Sen. Mike Lee/R-UT), it was overwhelmingly passed by a 97 to 2 vote.

Firefighters and first responders continue to grow ill and many have died as a result of the toxic conditions of the massive clean-up that occurred after the collapse of the buildings in lower Manhattan. One 9/11 responder who gave an emotional testimony before Congress, Luis Alvarez, has been commemorated in the naming of the bill. Alvarez passed away a few weeks before the bill was passed due to cancer complications. Others are facing growing medical bills and financial burdens due to the tragedy, so for them the passing of the bill will be an actual lifesaver.

Participants in the annual Tunnel to Towers 5K Walk and Run in NYC show their support for fallen service members.

Comedian and former The Daily Show host Jon Stewart has been a fierce advocate of the bill and has attended the testimonies of many 9/11 first responders and victims.

"We can never repay all the 9/11 community has done for our country, but we can stop penalizing them," Stewart said after the bill passed. "I'm hopeful that today begins the process of being able to heal without the burden of having to advocate."

If you are interested in helping 9/11 families, there are many organizations to consider donating to:

Tuesday's Children provides youth mentoring and mental health services for the children and spouses of first responders and 9/11 victims.

Healing Emergency Aid Response Team (HEART) 9/11 is a team of volunteers from the NYC fire department, police department and NYC building trades. The group honors the sacrifices of their 9/11 community by providing for other underserved areas hit by natural and man-made disasters.

New York City Police Foundation and FDNY Foundation are two non-profits that are rated 4 stars by Charity Navigator and serve to support the men and women who serve and protect NYC.

The annual Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk in NYC honors the victims of 9/11 and takes place every last Sunday of September. Proceeds from the run benefit the foundation's various programs to support first responders, service members and communities impacted by the tragedy.

(Image courtesy of Tunnel to Towers.)

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