a non-profit born after the events on 9/11, talks about the impact they’ve made since the organization was first established.
On May 20, 2011, Gear Up Foundation took 100 marines on a personal tour of Ground Zero and the USS Intrepid to commemorate September 11th. Colonel High Atkinson led the team of marines, including founder Vinny Forras’s son, Staff SGT Michael Forras, throughout their emotional journey.
Mickey Kross, an FDNY firefighter who survived the collapse of the North Tower, met the marines as they arrived at the USS Intrepid. Accompanying Kross were crew members who served on the Intrepid. Emotions ran high as crew members recalled stories of their service and guided the Marines throughout the ship.
From the Intrepid, the NYPD escorted the group to Ground Zero where members of Port Authority Police brought the group inside the actual Ground Zero site. Many of the marines who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were moved to tears when they saw and felt the magnitude of the site first-hand.
Gear Up Foundation was founded by Vinny Forras, a surviving firefighter who became trapped beneath the rubble of the South Tower for three days after responding to the 9/11 attack. Cut off from his team, he found himself in the pitch black, screaming for help. It was then that he made a “deal” that should he be allowed to escape, he promised to dedicate his life to others.
Gear Up Foundation commits themselves as ambassadors of goodwill around the world as they pay tribute to those who perished on September 11th and those who continue to die after answering the call that day.
They have been acknowledged by world leaders, including several presidents. They have donated over four million dollars of gear, trucks, and training, to some of the poorest regions in South America and South East Asia. They also have opened a school for children in Ecuador that teaches community service and fire prevention. Forras’s promise to dedicate his life to helping others has certainly become a reality.
“Animoto has been key in promoting our actions around the world,” says co-founder Monica Carerra, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth a million!
We believe with all our heart that Animoto will inspire worldwide support of our activities. Because folks are able to directly view and share these special moments packaged in a way that before was impossible, we will surely secure much-needed support for our mission.
Everyone who has watched the our Animoto videos are in love, inspired, and wanting more. Our Marines and first responders are thrilled to use Animoto to share their most personal and inspirational moments with the rest of the world. Gear Up and Animoto make quite a team as we answer the call together!”
Check out how these other non-profit organizations use Animoto!