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Bank that lost employees in 9/11 helps families to build a bright future

Siblings Johnny, 9, Emily, 12, and Robert Wright, 11 of Rockville Centre, display the autographs they received during a special pre-game ceremony for Tuesday's Children before the New York Mets Philadelphia Phillies baseball game on Friday, Sept. 10, 2010, in New York. Tuesday's Children is a non-profit organization that provides services to the 9/11 community. The children's father, John W. Wright Jr. worked for Sandler O'Neill and was killed at the World Trade Center. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

Bank that lost employees in 9/11 helps families to build a bright future

A bank that lost dozens of employees in 9/11 is sending their children to college.

Bank that lost employees in 9/11 helps families to build a bright future

In the aftermath of 9/11 the extent of damage was seen to exist far beyond ground zero. For the thousands of families that lost mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, the pain of losing a family member was only exacerbated for some by loss of financial security, health care, and a plan for the future.

An investment bank who lost dozens of employees on 9/11 has vowed to make sure this is never an issue for the families who had already lost so much.

Sandler O’Neill & Partners, an investment banking firm once existing in the World Trade Centre’s south tower have paid for the college tuitions of 54 children of employees who lost their lives on Sept. 11. To add to that, nearly two dozen more children are still eligible for the grant.

“We wanted the families of the lost to know that we would always remember, that the passing years would never sweep this under the rug,” Andy Armstrong, one of the founders of the Sander O’Neill Assistance Foundation, that supports the educational expenses, told local news.

The foundation, set up with the aim to provide ongoing support to the grieving families, was introduced just days after September 11. Its aim is to fund 100 per cent of school expenses for the children of 66 employees who died on that day. As well as providing a secure future for the children, the business paid full salaries to victims’ dependents throughout the end of 2001 and covered the cost of health insurance for the families – for the next decade.

“There was a moment in time to stand up,” one of the firm’s partners, Jimmy Dunne, told Oregon Live. “Because we believed that what we did would echo for a hundred years in the families of our people, their kids and their grandkids.”



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