Immediately following the tragedies of 9/11 20 years ago, many Long Islanders sought to assist the families and individuals who were experiencing unimaginable pain, grief and loss. Nearly 75% of Americans contributed a donation—money, food, clothing, etc.—in the three months that followed the attacks, according to a survey by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
A plethora of local charities, eager to help and offer support in many ways, were created shortly after. Although 9/11 brought suffering and fear to Long Island, it also established a new sense of community and unity. Many Long Islanders have kept the memory and spirit of the victims, and those lost to 9/11-related injuries, alive while also supporting those who continue to deal with effects of the tragedy, though these and other Long Island–based charities. Here is how you can contribute this year and into the future, as we will never forget.
This small, local nonprofit organization, based in Lindenhurst, is dedicated to assisting military veterans in Nassau and Suffolk County. The group helps current and former veterans—including those who were at Ground Zero—with emergency financial assistance. This includes rent and mortgage payments, food and clothing, utility payments, vehicle repairs and car payments, and more.
How to Donate: Donations can be made online through PayPal or by sending a check directly to:
9-1-1 Veterans Inc.
PO Box 911
Lindenhurst, NY 11757-0911
Fund the First
First launched in 2019, Fund the First is a contribution platform created by first responders for first responders, military personnel and medical professionals. According to the organizations’ website, Fund the First was founded to create a “trusted way to financially support those who put their lives on the line to protect us every day.” The idea was created after the daughter of a first responder was diagnosed with a rare illness. CEO Robert Garland sought a verified method to support the family.
The organization also aims to raise awareness and benefit the Sept. 11th Families’ Association and the 9/11 Tribute Museum—as well as those still suffering from 9/11-related illnesses—20 years after the terrorist attacks.
How to Donate: Many of the campaigns provide financial assistance to police or first-responders who were injured on the job. To browse current campaigns and donate, visit the browse campaigns page at fundthefirst.com.
Tunnel to Towers Foundation
Stephen Siller, who grew up in Rockville Centre, died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. His brother, Frank, created the nonprofit Tunnel to Towers Foundation to honor him and others who died on that fateful day. The organization provides financial support to families of injured or deceased firefighters. This year, for the 20th anniversary, Frank completed a six-week-long Never Forget Walk—a 537-mile trek from the Pentagon to the World Trade Center to benefit Tunnel to Towers.
How to Donate: Individuals can make a one-time or monthly donation by visiting t2t.org. There are plenty of opportunities to support the nonprofit through runs and walks, and other outside fundraisers. To get started, check out the organization’s fundraising guide here.
Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary
With six chapters across Long Island, it’s no wonder the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary is a familiar name in Nassau and Suffolk. DAVA has partnered with DAV, its parent charity, in its mission to help disabled veterans and their families, including those injured during 9/11. With nearly a quarter-million members, the DAVA programs are far-reaching. Chapters are located in Centereach, Massapequa, Malverne, Valley Stream, Garden City, and Northport.
How to Donate: Donations can be made by calling 516-887-7100, or sent by mail to the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary headquarters at:
162 Atlantic Avenue
Lynbrook, NY 11563
9/11 Heroes Run in Huntington
Hosted by the Travis Manion Foundation
If you’re searching for a way to donate by getting on your feet, this annual fundraiser might be for you. The event welcomes all Long Islanders to run, walk, ruck and cheer to honor on the heroes of 9/11. The race series was started in 2007 by the family of fallen first-responder Travis Manion. It’s now expanded to over 90 race locations across the globe.
The North Shore race/walk will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 25 at Mill Dam Park in Huntington. S0me participants will be “rucking,” a common military term for a fast march over a far distance, typically carrying a heavy load. All proceeds from the race will go to the Travis Manion Foundation, which aims to “empower our nation’s veterans and families of our fallen heroes to develop character in future generations,” its website says.
How to Donate: For more information about the race and how to register, visit 911heroesrunhuntingtonny.itsyourrace.com
Seaford 9/11 Memorial Committee
This Nassau County-based nonprofit was created back in 2001 by a group of Seaford residents, many of whom were Seaford High School alumni. It was established to honor the memory of five Seaford High School graduates who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center: Thomas Haskell, Timothy Haskell, John Perry, Robert Sliwak and Michael Wittenstein. The group is responsible for distributing scholarships to local high school students and a memorial structure at Seaford High School.
How to Donate: Visit seaford911.org to donate. The group also accepts Venmo donations sent to @SHS_911_MemorialFund. The organization asks that all donors include their name.
United Way of Long Island’s Mission United
Mission United is a funding program operated by nonprofit United Way of Long Island. The program works to support Long Island-based military veterans and their re-acclimation to civilian life. All funding this area helps to provide services and resources in job training, employment assistance, emergency financial aid and most recently, Covid-19 food service.
How to Donate: Visit United Way of Long Island online and select “Veterans/Mission United” as the donor designation.