Friday, December 30, 2011

Is it Time to Move on?

Brett Hill- Founder
At the end of 2011 I take a moment to reflect over the past year and the previous 10 that I have submerged my life into the 9/11 Patch Project. There are no mixed emotions...the drive to get one of the four 9/11 Patches on all public safety and and U.S. military uniforms or other clothing, is a journey I began in December of 2001 and a journey that will only end when I do. Is it an obsession over 9/11? No, it is about keeping a promise to Never Forget.

It is time to move on from the tragic, graphic and horrible images of 9/11 but it is not time to forget. When I heard the words, "Please Don't Forget Us," spoken from an FDNY Firefighter to an LAFD Firefighter at Ground Zero, it did not mean to me that I would run the 9/11 Patch Project for 10 years and move on. To Never Forget, means to always remember...simple translation and an obvious one at that. But, it does not seem so obvious to many in this resilient nation who have literally decided to completely move on.

Rio Hondo Fire Academy- Santa Fe Springs, CA
Every new fire recruit at the Rio Hondo Fire Academy in Santa Fe Springs, California, receives two patches to be sewn on their academy uniforms--the Rio Hondo Patch and the 9/11 Patch. Even 10 years after the tragic event that took the lives of 343 firefighters, those that have decided to start their career at Rio Hondo, will do so fully understanding the sacrifice of so many that came before them. They will also understand fully, what they may face as a future firefighter. This is a message that Academy Chief Tracy Rickman sends to every fire recruit that comes through Rio Hondo Fire Academy. As one of the guest speakers at Rio Hondo's 2011 summer graduation, it was truly inspirational to look out at the graduating class and see them all proudly wearing their 9/11 Patches.

As many across the nation completely move on from 9/11, the 9/11 Patch Project ramps up by recently hiring 24 representatives to continue the 9/11 Patch drive on a closer and more personal level. Working from Southern California the past 10 years has been challenging. Sending out newsletters, posting on Facebook (and many other social networks), sending emails, posting press releases and making phone calls has just not been enough. The project has even sent out two mailers to every fire department in the nation the past 10 years and it has just not been enough. Having local representatives utilizing their professional connections and actually visiting organizations, is something that has become very necessary.

Although the 9/11 Patch Project appreciates the purchase of one or two patches & decals from supporters on Facebook's NeverForget911 page, the project is really about getting these patches on the shoulders of all public safety and U.S. military uniforms. It is about taking one of the most tragic events in American History and turning it into a positive moving forward. The world responded in a way we have never seen after the events of 9/11. People came together--borders were erased--politics were ignored--and cultural differences didn't matter. This simple idea of a 9/11 Patch on every uniform helps us all remember the heroes of 9/11 and remember how the world came together after the lives lost on 9/11 became the world's loss.

So pick up a patch or decal if you are wondering why you see them on the shoulders of firefighters, police officers and soldiers around the world. If you are an organization that honors and continues to remember the loss of your fellow heroes of 9/11, then pick up a 100 or so and get them on your uniforms. It's been 10 years but it's never too late to Never Forget.

*If you are a civilian or an organization that is not interested in participating in the 9/11 Patch Project, but still want to show your support,  then why not show your support by adding your name or organization to the 9/11 WALL.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

9/11 Patch Project Hiring Representatives

If you are a Firefighter, EMT, Police or other Public Safety professional, the 9/11 Patch Project could use your help. Back in Late November, we announced the new Rep program and had an overwhelming response. From those previous postings, we have already hired 24 Rep's, including Rep's in Canada, Belgium and Australia.

Today, we are still looking for Rep's in the Southern California area, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Texas (2), Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Georgia, North Dakota and South Dakota. We are also looking for Rep's in countries like New Zealand, the UK, Germany, France, Ireland and Scotland. Additionally, Rep's are need in Australia's NSW, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria territories. This is a performance based position where you would earn 15% of sales you generate. This is also an Independent Contractor position with no benefits or salary. This position is suitable as a part time job to start which may evolve into full salaried positions for the right individuals.

Moving forward the next 10 years, the goals of the 9/11 Patch Project now involve a more hands on approach in contacting organizations to participate. Having Rep's in each area that have contacts and previous sales experience, will help the project garner support and participation as well as raise funds.

Email Brett Hill, if you are interested. Thank You!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Belgian Firefighter and a 9/11 Patch

I had just finished filling another 35 orders--it was about 9pm and I had a 48 hour shift to work in the morning. Just before leaving the office, I logged on and checked my email--up popped this picture of a Belgian Firefighter (Bob) wearing the 9/11 Patch on the front of his Class A uniform. I was awed by the image of a non-U.S. firefighter wearing the 9/11 Patch with the backdrop of our U.S. Flag, right on the front of his uniform! And, this project had crossed the borders of the U.S. and made it thousands of miles across the Atlantic. More important to me was the fact our loss of 343 brother firefighters became Bob's loss too.

This was back in March of 2002 when I was filling over 25 orders everyday for nearly 5 months. I would work my 48 shift at the Fire Department and spend my four days off filling orders--sometimes until 11pm. I looked forward to my email everyday because pictures like this were sent to me all the time.

Bob was the first picture sent to me of a non-U.S. firefighter wearing the 9/11 Patch. It is the most important picture as it was the first to demonstrate the world's response to the attacks on America, September 11, 2001. Bob was the only firefighter from Belgium to actually send his photo to me but many more Belgians would order the 9/11 Patches and Decals over the years.

Ironically, after looking for representatives to give the 9/11 Patch Project a more local presence in U.S. States and other countries, the first out-of-country representative to step up was a Belgian Police Officer named Christophe Knop. In Christophe's short time representing the 9/11 Patch Project in Belgium, he is already the front runner of our 23 representatives, bringing in 9 orders in December.

Shortly after Bob's photo was sent to me, I received photos from the UK, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malta, Gemany and other countries with firefighters wearing one of the 9/11 Patches or displaying one of the 9/11 Decals. To date, there are over 25 countries with Firefighters, EMT's, Police Officers and U.S. deployed soldiers--all wearing one of the 9/11 Patches.

You see, it's not just about a patch anymore--it is about a fraternity of public safety and military personnel around the world that share common threads and all wear their hearts on their sleeves. Out of the tragedy of 9/11 came a unique act of solidarity that would go on to be unparallelled over the past 10 years. Are you wearing your 9/11 Patch or displaying your 9/11 decal?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our 10 Year Anniversary~

Thanks to all of you who have supported the 9/11 Patch Project these past 10 years. With our 10 anniversary on December 15th, it is a great time for a thank-you message from the project founder, Brett Hill.

Many of our supporters come from the NeverForget911 page and a special thanks goes out to Rich Karns, the founder, for facilitating the partnership with the 9/11 Patch Project that began 18 months ago.

Today, the 9/11 Patch Project has 22 representatives out there in 20 different U.S. States and two Countries (Belgium & Canada). For the next 10 years, the goals are to make sure more Public Safety and U.S. Military organizations are aware of the project and have the opportunity to participate alongside over 8000 organizations in 25 countries.

To insure we continue helping the world remember the heroes of 9/11 and raising funds, we would ask that you consider one of the following levels of support:

1. It's the holidays! Why not purchase our gift bag or one of the other many 9/11 Tribute items as memorable gifts?

2. Is your name or your organizations' name on the 9/11 WALL of supporters? You can get on the wall for as little as $9.11

3. What's in your wallet? We have recently teamed up with Capital One to bring you three 9/11 Patch Project cards to choose from. Every time you make a purchase, you give a small percentage back to the 9/11 Patch Project, the NYC Bravest Scholarship Fund and the Feal Good Foundation.

Happy Holidays and thanks in advance for your years of support along with your future support to insure we stay open another 10 years!

Friday, December 2, 2011

9/11 WALL of Supporters

Since January of 2011, the 9/11 Patch Project has been adding the names of supporters to its 9/11 WALL. To date, there are many names of individuals, companies, fire departments, and other organizations that have stepped up to support the efforts of one of the longest running and farthest reaching 9/11 Projects in the world. Here is how you can contribute:

1. $9.11 X 1 = name, company or organization name
2. $9.11 X 2 = same but with name Bolded
3. $9.11 X 10= company or organization banner with website link on Sponsor Page.

The 9/11 Patch Project is a registered non-profit and these smaller donations insure that the project can continue the work it has been successfully doing around the world for 10 years.

Traffic to the 9/11 Patch Project website averages about 15,000 visits per month. According to Alexa, the website ranking organization, the website is ranked at 1.7 million, globally.

More about the 9/11 Patch Project and the fund raising patches and decals HERE