Tunnel To Towers Foundations Pays Mortgage for Local Family | New
A family from Imperial Beach received a gift from the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Navy Chief Petty Officer Jason Christopher Finan’s widow Chariss and their 12-year-old son Christopher have had their mortgage paid off in thanks for his sacrifice.
Finan, who was part of SEAL Team Five, was killed on October 20, 2016 while on duty in Iraq. He was an expert in explosive ordnance disposal in Mosul, Iraq. His vehicle was unable to avoid a roadside bomb and Finan died from injuries sustained in the explosion.
Finan’s family are one of 50 fallen servicemen and first responders in the United States and one of four in California whose mortgages have been paid off.
“Last week we paid off 50 mortgages in one day,” said Jennifer Brekke, board member for Tunnel to Towers and San Diego.
This year, in honor of the 20th anniversary of September 11, Tunnel to Towers plans to pay off 450 mortgages.
Tunnel to Towers is a non-profit foundation established in memory of New York City firefighter Stephen Siller, who, after leaving office, heard about the 9/11 attack and fled with it. 60 pounds of equipment to the Twin Towers. Siller walked through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Towers to aid the survivors, but perished in the process (hence the name of the foundation).
Siller belonged to a family of six brothers. After his death, the siblings formed the foundation and Siller’s brother, Frank, is the CEO. The aim of the foundation is to help the families of those “not only whose lives were lost in September 11, but to honor all those who are heroes and died in the service of our country”, explained Brekke.
In addition to paying off mortgages, Tunnel to Towers builds smart homes for military personnel or first responders who have been seriously injured in the line of duty. Recently, Tunnel to Towers added another program, “9/11 Sickness” for first responders who fell ill in the days and months following 9/11 while cleaning up the remains of the towers.
To be able to pay off mortgages and build smart homes, the foundation organizes fundraisers throughout the year. The most popular and well-known is the Tunnel to Towers 5K in New York City. This event traces Siller’s last run to the towers and on this occasion the streets are lined with photos and banners of those who died on September 11. Organized on the last Sunday in September, the race has an average of 35,000 participants.
On August 21, 2021, the Tunnel to Towers hosted a “Never Forget Concert” which celebrated the country’s greatest heroes and commemorated the 20th anniversary of September 11th. It aired across the country from September 10-12, 2021. The iconic musical event included performances by Journey, The Chainsmokers, John Fogerty, Ann Wilson, Steve Miller Band with special guest Jesse Colin Young, Lee Brice, Wyclef Jean, Gavin DeGraw, Us McDonald, Flo Rida, Danny Rodriguez and Jax with GE Smith, as Music Director.
This year, in honor of the anniversary of September 11, Frank Siller traveled 500 miles on the “Never Forget Walk,” which took him from Washington DC to the Pentagon via Shanksville, Pennsylvania and ended in New York through the tunnel his brother went through. .
Breeke explained that the foundation tries to help as many families as possible, but the list is unfortunately long and growing every year. Whenever someone dies in the line of duty, the foundation is notified. Tunnel to Towers focuses its efforts in particular on helping families who still have children at home. “The spouse made the ultimate sacrifice and it gives the peace of mind to stay in their home, in the community they know. For many [children], this is the house the parents bought together and planned to stay in, ”said Brekke.
Brekke explained that anyone can get involved to help the foundation and the families who benefit from it. While there isn’t a fundraiser planned in San Diego, anyone can organize one that can be as small as a backyard barbecue. Anyone interested can email the organization and a manager will respond quickly to help organize a fundraiser. “We encourage everyone to donate $ 11 per month to the foundation, it’s symbolic for September 11, and a lot of people can afford it… these dollars have a big impact and 93 cents of the dollar goes directly. to families, “said Brekke.” It is a commitment to give back to those who have served America and who have died and to say thank you to their families. “
For more information, log on to www.t2t.org. Anyone can also contribute to Tunnel to Towers through Amazon smile.