People of all ages find ways to help with relief efforts

People of all ages find ways
to help with relief efforts

The devastation of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States touched all Americans in some way. We’ve mourned. We’ve cried. We’ve become angry.

We’ve tried to regain a sense of security that in one morning was shattered. And we’ve anxiously waited for some sort of justice to be served, watching and hoping for the federal government to be successful in its investigation and apprehension of terrorists.

At the same time, something remarkable has happened. Millions of Americans have joined together for one purpose — to help in a way that the younger generations have never before seen.

Just as we’ve watched the streets in every neighborhood suddenly lined with American flags — and seemingly every other car that drives down those streets decorated with red, white and blue — for the first time in many of our lifetimes, we are seeing an astonishing, across-the-board effort by people of all ages, colors and backgrounds to assist in the Sept. 11 recovery effort.

Locally, countless civic organizations and private businesses have found some way to give to, or solicit donations for, The September 11 Fund, the American Red Cross, the New York City Firefighters Union, or to other groups, such as blood centers, that are helping those affected by the attacks.

We have also witnessed truly amazing, never-before-seen efforts such as the Old Bridge telethon, which raised money last Sunday for 11 families in the township who were victimized Sept. 11.

Most notable is that so many ordinary people, particularly children, have demonstrated in their own creative ways that they too can lend a hand.

In Middlesex County, we have seen numerous, touching examples of children — whether individually or as part of a school project or neighborhood function — pitch in, selling something they made to raise money for relief efforts, or selflessly donating their own money to help.

At Greater Media Newspa-pers, we have received numerous phone calls and e-mails from people alerting us to these children’s endeavors, and we will be publishing some of their accounts.

It’s important for these children to understand that whether they’ve raised $10 or $100 or even more, they’ve made a difference. Perhaps their efforts will buy holiday presents for someone their age who lost a mother or father Sept. 11, or the money will help to pay the bills of a local family who lost someone and will be without a source of income.

It also says something about the way our society has pulled together since Sept. 11, that our children have been so inspired to lend a hand. And it’s a tribute to our great country that as citizens we are all willing to help one another in times of need.