‘LET US DO GOOD’: GMC PARTNER HONORS HEROIC FIREFIGHTER BY HELPING VETERANS AND OTHERS
Stephen Siller grew up steeped in St. Francis of Assisi's philosophy that “while we have time, let us do good.” This philosophy guided Siller through life and became his legacy after the firefighter died tragically on Sept. 11, 2001, trying to save the lives of those trapped in the towers of the World Trade Center.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation (named after the path Stephen took on foot to help) honors those who put their lives on the line to protect our country. This takes the form of several programs, including building Smart Homes for veterans that have been severely injured. GMC is a supporter of the foundation.
BUILDING A FOUNDATION
The organization took shape after 9/11 with the establishment of the Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk, which re-created the route that Siller took on that fateful day. The goal of the foundation was to assist families of veterans and first responders. The foundation has also lent a hand to others in need, such as an orphanage and victims of Hurricane Sandy.
In 2011, Tunnel to Towers raised funds to build its first Smart Home. Along with giving a veteran a mortgage-free home, each house is customized to the individual’s unique needs.
Tunnel to Towers Smart Home features include:
- Automated doors and lighting
- Wider halls and doorways
- Automatic door openers, cabinets and counters (to be raised or lowered)
- Tablet-controlled central heating and air conditioning systems
The foundation has introduced other initiatives to assist those who have sacrificed for our country. The Gold Star Family Home Program, for example, provides mortgage-free homes to surviving spouses with young children. Also, for 2019, the organization looks to expand its 5K Run & Walk and Tower Climb events to 70 communities across the United States.
Currently, 92 Smart Homes have been delivered, seen construction started or are in the design stage.
By the end of 2020, the Foundation will have delivered a total of 250 mortgage-free homes and have spent $250 million on the three major programs (Smart Homes, Gold Star and Fallen First Responder).
DID YOU KNOW?
You can search for a 5K Run & Walk or Tower Climb event in your area by visiting the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation website.
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