What is the mission of The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation?
The mission of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation (T2T) is to honor the sacrifice of firefighter Stephen Siller who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001. We also honor our military and first responders who continue to make the supreme sacrifice of life and limb for our country.
Who was Stephen Siller?
Firefighter Stephen Gerard Siller was the youngest of seven children born to Mae and George Siller. At the age of eight Stephen’s father died and a year and a half later he also lost his mother, which left him an orphan to be raised by his older siblings. For a while Stephen went through a period of struggle, but because of the love of his siblings and the values instilled in him by his parents, he grew up to be an extraordinary individual and dedicated firefighter. More than most, he knew that time was precious and accomplished much in his 34 years.
On September 11, 2001, Stephen had just gotten off the late shift at Squad 1, Park Slope, Brooklyn. He was on his way to play golf with his brothers when his scanner told of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers. When he heard the news, Stephen called his wife Sally and asked her to tell his brothers he would catch up with them later, and then returned to Squad 1 to get his gear
Stephen drove his truck to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it was already closed. So he strapped 60 lbs. of gear to his back, rushed on foot through gridlocked traffic and ran from the Tunnel to the Towers where he gave up his life while saving others.
How was the foundation started?
Stephen’s loved ones organized the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The organization helped establish the Tunnel to Towers Run, a living, breathing tribute to all that died on 9/11 and to those who serve in the line of duty to protect our country. Participants of the Tunnel to Towers Run retrace the final footsteps of heroic Stephen Siller from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center site.
What began as a runner-led memorial for Siller eventually evolved into ensuring that honor and service is provided to the brave men and women serving in America’s recent wars, as well as our courageous first responders who serve domestically each and every day. In 2011, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation officially began the Building for America’s Bravest program (BFAB) to provide a specially adaptive home for the first ever quadruple amputee to survive, Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco. By the end of 2015, BFAB will have completed, designed, or broken ground on nearly 50 smart homes for veterans across the country.
What is the largest program Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation supports?
The biggest T2T program is Building for America’s Bravest (BFAB).
What does Building for America’s Bravest do?
Building for America’s Bravest builds specially adapted, custom designed smart homes to help restore independence and improve the quality of life for our nation’s most catastrophically injured service members.
How are these homes different than an average home?
A smart home from the BFAB program is specifically catered to the unique needs of its recipients with the goal of helping our most severely injured heroes live better, more independent lives. Smart homes host a myriad of features, including automated doors and lighting, wider doors and hallways to accommodate wheelchairs, cabinetry that is adjustable for different heights, bathrooms with features and fixtures specially selected to ensure comfort and accessibility and central heating and air conditioning systems that can be controlled by iPads.
Where does BFAB build?
WBFAB has completed, has homes under construction, or home is the design stage in 20 states.
How many people are on the waitlist for homes?
The waiting list comprises of approximately 200 service members.
How much does the average smart home cost?
As amazing as these smart homes are, they are far beyond the reach of most service members and their modest pensions. The goal of the Building for America’s Bravest program is to give back to those who have sacrificed so much and ease their transition. The average cost to build each smart home is approximately $600,000 and we need the help and support of the American people to ensure that our heroes have homes that work for them.