Friday, August 26, 2011

10th Anniversary of 9/11


After the horrific terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Americans opened up their hearts and wallets and donated more than $2 billion. Several charities quickly set up 9/11 funds, including the American Red Cross (which received about half of that money). Under pressure from the media and the public, charities spent most of that money by the first anniversary of the attacks.

New charities were also established in the weeks and months that followed the attacks. The IRS fast-tracked the approval of more than 300 new charities related to 9/11. But not all of these groups, from scholarship funds to programs designed to help families of the victims, still exist ten years later, demonstrating just how hard it is to start and maintain a new charity – no matter how worthy the cause. In fact, a 2006 study reported that of the 300 fast-track charities, 38 had closed and 1/3 couldn’t be located. And, sadly, one recent report on 9/11 charities "uncovered schemes beset with shady dealings, questionable expenses and dubious intentions."

Many of those that continue to exist have done so by rethinking their missions and the way in which they solicit support from the public. One September 11th related charity that is still operating is 9/11 Day. This group asks that we observe the anniversary by doing good and they’ve partnered with groups, like the Points of Light Institute, to help you volunteer. On our site you can check up on some of the 9/11 charities (a lot of the new ones created after 9/11 never grew large enough to qualify for our rating system) and you can also commemorate the anniversary by simply donating to a charity of any kind.





Photos:
9-11 Tribute in Lights 2010 Photowalk, 9-11-2010 Tribute in Lights at 12:15am from Empire Fulton Ferry State Park, © 2010 Kamau Z Akabueze

9/11 Memorial Floating Lanterns, At Pier 40, New Yorkers gathered for an interfaith memorial to commemorate 9/11. The evening culminated in the floating of paper lanterns with messages from New Yorkers written on them.

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