Monday, September 12, 2011

How Forming Nonprofits Eased The Grief For Victims' Families

9/12: How Forming Nonprofits Eased The Grief For Victims' Families
Huffington Post
Eleanor Goldberg
As Susan Littlejohn lay amid the rubble of her tornado-ravaged barn in July, she begged for a miracle. Without one, she would no longer be able to provide animal-based therapy to kids with special needs.

Five days later, one arrived to Ellijay, Ga. It came in the form of New York Says Thank You, a September 11-inspired organization that helps communities devastated by tragedies nationwide.

“The tornado took everything I had,” Littlejohn shared. “Now we have everything we need to work with … It's all about 9/12 and paying it forward.”

In the immediate aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, there was an outpouring of inspiring community service. But with images of planes crashing and fleeing innocent civilians looped on the television, the horror of September 11 was too present to allow the significance of those 9/12 efforts to sink in.

But once those who lost loved ones committed to their commemoration by honoring the goodwill they witnessed, the meaning and long-term significance of September 12 began to manifest.

Here are three such stories of hope and resilience, in which despair gave way to determination -- and resulted in the creation of organizations that uplift those who have been devastated by tragedy.
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