Monday, December 29, 2014

Nonprofit Steps Up to Help Families of Slain NYPD Officers

NYPD - Jonah Engler

Newlywed NYPD officer Wenjian Liu was gunned down by a maniac for simply doing his job. Here’s what Frank Siller, chairman of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, had to say: “When you see somebody in despair, you bring them some joy. When you see somebody that is in darkness, you bring them light.” Siller went on to say that his organization and the community will be there for the family of the murdered officer. In fact, the foundation has pledged roughly $800,000 to pay off the homes of both Liu and officer Rafael Ramos, also killed. Siller said he understands that paying off those mortgages will not erase the pain that the families of these slain officers are facing.

But he hopes the donations will ease their pain and lighten their burden. The community, it seems, agrees. In the first two days of fundraising, the organization has brought in $70,000 for the cause, including a $20,000 donation from former mayor Rudolph Giuliani. While all of us should agree that no family should ever have to go through what the families of these slain officers are going through, the foundation has stepped up in an appropriate and exceedingly kind manner.

Sure, the gesture will play well in the eye of the public, but there are times when PR plays a far second to simply doing the right thing. Supporting these families is absolutely a case in which doing right supersedes any other concern. The families of the slain officers have released statements thanking the foundation for its gift.

Engler said he hopes these statements are treated with the respect they deserve, not used as propaganda, particularly when the city is embroiled in a major political tiff between the mayor and the police union. Regardless of what is going on, even if it is happening in your own back yard, there are times when you must set aside differences and support those who need the community to rally around them.

Jonah Engler is a full-time stock broker and entrepreneur in New York City.

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