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We Will Not Forget
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Twin Towers Orphan Fund, founded on Sept. 12, 2001, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public benefit organization, Fed. Tax ID# 57-1197371.

All donations are fully
Rebuilding futures, one child at a time.
About TTOF ~ Founders
On September 11, 2001, W. Knox Richardson and Michele (Weaver) Ritter watched in silence as the towers collapsed: one, then the other. The reporters were saying upwards of 50,000 people a day worked in the World Trade Center. Aloud, Richardson wondered how many people just lost their lives. Responding, Ritter asked, "I wonder how many children just lost their parents." The words hung heavily in the air; something had to be done.

Within hours of the first explosion, Richardson, a PR professional in California, had not only developed the idea for a charity to help the children but also a plan for implementation. Richardson recruited Dana Victoria Sophia, his PR counterpart in New York. Together, they began exchanging e-mails on a public relations Internet mailing list and within that one day had gathered enough support to build an instant grass roots national publicity campaign. Some 35 PR professionals around the nation agreed to dedicate the time and energy necessary to raise awareness of a new charitable trust fund for the surviving children of parents killed in the Twin Towers disaster, in the Pentagon and those on board the ill-fated airliners.

On September 12, 2001, Ritter, a non-profit information systems and technology professional, obtained the Twin Towers Orphan Fund domain, TTOF.ORG, developed its web presence and primary source of communication. Garden Pathways, Inc., a local charity, offered to be the Fund's official host charity and provide it with start-up administrative support, accounting services, banking, legal services and its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

On September 13, 2001, The Twin Towers Orphan Fund was announced. It's mission: to provide long-term higher educational assistance and physical and mental healthcare assistance to the children who lost parents in the national disasters of September 11, 2001.

Within days, TTOF received a groundswell of support from elected officials, civic leaders, public corporations, and the charitable community across the nation. Within weeks, the Twin Towers Orphan Fund was a national grass roots campaign supported by everyday men, women and children in thousands of cities around the nation. During its first seven months, more than $4 million dollars was raised to support the children of 9/11. During this same seven months, all expenses were borne from the pockets of the dedicated co-founders and by monies donated specifically for expenses. Beginning the 2nd quarter of 2002, TTOF implemented a 90 percent model where 10 percent of donations are used for ongoing program expansion, administrative overhead and awareness efforts. During the next two years, an additional $3 million was donated, bringing the total to $7 million.

During this same period of time, nearly 700 higher educational savings accounts had been established in the names of the children, an additional 51 children had received direct assistance for higher education expenses and 68 had received assistance for physical and mental healthcare expenses; this totaled nearly $3.5 million.

Over 1,000 children in 18 states and territories, including 30 babies born after 9/11/01, have registered with TTOF. An average of 40 children - per year - will begin their college education for the next 18 years. However, if 2003 is an accurate indication of future TTOF registrations, this number will increase by 15 percent each year.

In 2004, the Twin Towers Orphan Fund transitioned from a program of a charity into an independent nonprofit, public benefit charity; the national coalition of PR co-founders continue to provide a vital role as "watch-dog;" and still passionately involved - and at its helm - are Ritter and Richardson: Ritter is the fund's President and CEO and Richardson, continuing to volunteer his time, is its Chairman.
If you know of a child who lost a parent on September 11, 2001, please register with Twin Towers Orphan Fund. This will help TTOF identify and qualify those children who are in most need of our help -- now and in the future.

TTOF provides higher educational assistance, as well as physical and mental health care assistance to the children who lost parents on September 11, 2001.