America's Child shares its founding with the Twin Towers Orphan Fund:
On September 11, 2001, W. Knox Richardson and Michele 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 and Ritter had not only developed the idea for a charity to help the children but contacted others around the country willing to dedicate the time and energy necessary to raise awareness of a new charitable trust fund, called the Twin Towers Orphan Fund (TTOF), to help the surviving children of parents killed in the Twin Towers disaster, in the Pentagon and those on board the ill-fated airliners.
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, millions of dollars were 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.
In response to America's ensuing War On Terrorism, America's Child was established to help children whose military parent gave their life to protect us from the horrors they faced on a daily basis. We are committed to providing assistance to the surviving children of our military heroes who have already given their lives in patriotic service to their country fighting our nation's war against terrorism as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and the Philippines, Operation Iraqi Freedom or future conflicts.
More than 6,800 military personnel have died fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom; nearly 75 percent of them were under the age of 30. Our young beneficiaries are their children.
In addition to the assistance America's Child provides, we also make available to the parent/guardian information on other funds and charities that may be of benefit to them, as well as referrals to service providers.
Still passionately involved - and at its helm, Ritter is the fund's President and CEO: "Thank you for your continued support of the children of our American Heroes. Please know we are personally working with each family, with care and compassion. And we will continue to do so."