9/12/21 Resilience Projects

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HOPE UNDER THE WINGS OF THE OCULUS AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY Stars of HOPE and Partners Commemorate the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 by Creating Messages of Hope for Health Care Workers.

NEW YORK: On September 11, 2001, the United States of America was attacked by terrorists. In the days that followed, people came from all over the world to help us heal. In the years that followed, the Spirit of 9/12 became the day humanity came together to demonstrate compassion, show resilience, and express our hope for the future.

Together We Heal.

One way that people came together to heal and commemorate this tragedy is through art. Stars of Hope brings art into communities where it’s needed most. In commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 — and in support of its ongoing commitment to “healing the healers”— Stars of HOPE teamed with the National September 11 Memorial Museum and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to create messages of hope and support for health workers impacted by COVID-19.

Stars of HOPE brought the CommUNITY Response Vehicle (the Big Orange Bus), volunteers from across the US, and partner organizations Hope Animal-Assisted Crisis Response and Vibrant Emotional Care to NYC underneath the wings of the Oculus a symbolic location that represents the city’s rebirth. 

9/12 Resilience Project: Peer-to-Peer Support

Our mission on 9/12 was to bring together the community. Our Stars of HOPE volunteers came together from all over the country. They are survivors and survivors by empathy and understanding the peer-to-peer support that Stars of HOPE provides.

Our volunteers included the Vincent family from Groesbeck, TX. They were the first family who did Stars of HOPE after a tornado destroyed their homes. They continue to do school projects and projects in their hometown Ben, a Fire Chief from Utica, IL, helped drive the bus. He experienced the project after a tornado. Matt, our bus driver from Greensburg, KS, a town destroyed by an EF-5 tornado, participated in the first Stars of HOPE project. Elsie is the mother of Maria, who lost her life on 9//11, Donna is a former NYPD police officer and presently a nurse dealing with Covid patients, and Cait, who lost her father, Fire Chief Joe Leavey, on 9/11. She brought her students to paint stars alongside her. The children were in awe. Our volunteer Sonia was busy running back and forth to the 9/11 Campus, finding friends to invite to paint a star. Our volunteer Charlie, who lost his home during Hurricane Sandy, brought his young children to paint a star and connected with the people who helped rebuild his home.

Our volunteers have experienced tragedy and want to give back and share their experiences. Stars of Hope exists to accelerate and strengthen individuals and the community’s long-term mental health, recovery, and resiliency. 

“Such a great day. I am always so happy to volunteer for such a great organization.” said Cathy Monachelli a volunteer involved with the 9/11 Community. “Every time I do anything with Stars of HOPE, it also fills me up… grateful for the opportunity,” said Barbara Van Assalt, a Hurricane Sandy Survivor.

Corporate Volunteering: Hope in Action

Our corporate volunteers have experienced Stars of HOPE in their offices and at home. Volunteers from KPMG, Dentons, Citizens Bank, and the World Trade Center Program at Mt Sinai Health joined us and volunteered at the 9/12 event. They brought their families and their friends to participate in this uplifting experience.

Our volunteers are never afraid to get their hands dirty. They get right in there, setting up tables, filling paint pots, organizing and hanging wet stars on the fences, greeting the painters, and explaining the project to the community. KPMG offered Stars of HOPE kits to their employees to help them make a difference from home.

Three thousand one hundred and fifty stars are being created through September, and KPMG Volunteers create banners for Firehouses throughout the five NYC boroughs.

Our National Community Sponsor KPMG

KPMG strengthens the communities that they serve. Our national community sponsor, KPMG, LLP., sponsored the 9/12 Resilience Project to support the 9/11 community and bring hope to the health care community. Throughout COVID, they have been a trusted supporter of Stars of HOPE.

Over 4,000 Star Painters Created HOPE

The star-painters included the 9/11 community, the downtown neighbors, and school children who painted a star for our health care heroes. Over 600 stars were painted and shared with hospitals across the country. Fifty Stars of HOPE volunteers worked with 750 9/11 community members, families, and school children. The stars created that day are to support the well-being of our healthcare workforce. We use art-making in the form of a star to give hope, show compassion, and promote healing. And to be a tangible reminder that they are not alone.  Stars of HOPE painting projects took place all over the country. Over 4,000 stars were created nationwide. 

Michigan-based non-profit partners Provide Inc. created HOPE kits for a project called “Hope Upon A Star” The kits were shared with families in 24 cities to create HOPE throughout Michigan. The project is sponsored by the Michigan Service Commission and Americorps in honor and memory of the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. 

Partners in HOPE

Vibrant Emotional Health had at the Oculus mental health counselors to support the 9/11 Community. Hope-AACR Animals Assisted Crisis Response brought emotional support from their specially-trained dogs and handler teams. There were numerous events related to 9/11, and they were there when people needed hope.

With your support, we can spread hope farther than ever.

When you make a tax-deductible gift to Stars of HOPE, you help us continue our community projects, school projects, and virtual workshops to promote healing. Donations are needed to help our CommUNITY Response Vehicle continue its journey of delivering hope. Support is necessary to pay for materials to bring hope to schools and communities in need.  We are bringing hope where it is needed the most. 

Fran Sheff-Mauer

Fran Sheff-Mauer

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About Stars of HOPE

In response to tragedies such as mass violence and natural disasters, we use art-making in the form of a star to give hope, show compassion, and promote healing.

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