Wednesday, September 2, 2015

September 11th- Keeping a Promise to Never Forget

I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. An LAFD USAR Task Force member and good friend of mine, had just returned from a tour at Ground Zero. I asked him what moved him the most while he was there for 2 weeks; arriving within days of the horrible event. He told me this, "As our Task Force was packing up and getting ready to come home to L.A., we were all shaking hands with the FDNY Firefighters we had worked alongside. One grabbed my hand...squeezed it firmly...looked me straight in the eyes...and said, PLEASE DON'T FORGET US."

This moved me to find some way to assure the FDNY that we would never forget. It came in the form of a uniform that included symbols of the day we lost 343 brave brothers...and one that sent them a clear message that we would NEVER FORGET them.

The design of the patch was created and displayed on a banner that was presented to 6 FDNY bike riders that rode across America to thank Americans for their outpouring of love and support. The "Thank You America Tour," started In the Bowery (Manhattan) and ended in Pasadena, California...less than a mile away from where I had been stationed as a Firefighter for the previous 15 years. It was an opportunity to get the acceptance and support from FDNY members prior to producing the patch.

Pasadena, California- Oct. 2001
The 9-11 Patch Project was created in December of 2001 with the goals to get as many of the 9-11 Patches on uniforms as possible while raising funds. It was to begin the healing process and make that promise to Never Forget them. Proceeds from the sale of the $3 patches would go on to benefit the UFA and other 9/11 related charities. 
Fire Departments around the world came forward...even all branches of the U.S. Military stepped up as if to say, we are your brothers too and we will fight in your honor. The project evolved to create decals, challenge coins and other memorial items to keep the memory alive and raise funds.

Today, the project has served over 10,000 organizations in 30 plus countries. Even firefighters from other countries chose to wear the 9-11 Patches on their uniforms. (pictured left: Greater Manchester FD in the UK)

Keeping this project on everyone's radar all year round has been a tough nut to crack. Beating the same drum loudly and nearly every day the past 13 years, has most likely been seen as bordering on obsession by many others. So what does one do? I believe this is the answer; 9-11 and the loss of life to the 1st Responder community on that day is part of our history and our future. We remember our fallen brothers and we assure them that we will Never Forget. Some will appreciate this while others will simply move on. Beyond that, we also remind those who choose this profession, of what those who came before them were willing to do and actually did for people they never even met.

Those 1st Responder agencies that wear one of the 9-11 Patches are truly wearing their hearts on their sleeves and sharing common threads. We're not completely healed from the tragedy of that day but we are slowly getting "patched up," and I think that means a lot to our FDNY brothers, some of who are beginning to wear the patches as well.

Learn more about the 9-11 Patch Project here:

Be a sponsor to an FDNY Firehouse and send them the 9-11 Patches for free here:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Thank You Heavy Smoke Apparel!

Even before Heavy Smoke Apparel became our $911 Sponsor, they were giving back to the 9-11 Patch Project. Each time they sold one of their "9-11 Helmet Wraps," they set some aside for us. They have already made multiple donations to our organization!

What's really cool about their 9-11 Helmet Wraps is that they fit under the fire helmet (under the lid) and really add a cool touch to any helmet. Beyond that, I really like them because every time a firefighter takes off his helmet, he is respecting the FDNY 343, lost on 9/11.

In their words: We are a company based in New York who feel very passionate about the designs and products we make.  We use the best possible products available to us so you will be completely satisfied with our company and what we stand for.  Our mission is to start a movement and make a statement to those who fight for our lives on a daily basis.  We hope you wear and use our products as proudly as we have in designing them.  We support our troops, and remember all who have laid their lives on the line in days passed and who will be doing the same in days to come.  Please help support our country and our products so we can one day give back. 

I really like the last two sentences as it says so much about this great company. Some say they give
back but there is no question that these folks really do.  Being on the receiving end of donations, we know that no truer words have been written! You can see our logo and the logo's of other organizations they give back to on this page.

Heavy Smoke Apparel also has some other cool decals and apparel that really stands out from others out there. They have their own unique look and designs--so take a look.

Thanks for your support Heavy Smoke Apparel, we are honored and humbled!

Monday, March 16, 2015

"RISE", Setting You up to FALL

This graphic was copied from the page. I added the "Thank God this loan is paid off" caption because that is really what the man in the graphic is celebrating.

The predatory loan is NOT IN YOUR CONTROL nor is it "PROGRESS!"

If you want a $2600 loan that you most likely will be approved for, than get ready to pay 300%+ interest. In fact, you will pay over $1200 in interest your first 5 payments and still have a balance of $2800 for your 6th payment. Wait a minute...isn't that loan going up when you pay rather than down? Yes, it most definitely is!!

So the name of the company "RISE" has nothing to do with what you will be doing to your credit or lifestyle once you begin a loan like this. This poor excuse for a company should be re-named "FALL," because that is what they are setting you up to do!

Imagine being suckered into a scheme that boasts you will finally get the money you need and begin rebuilding your credit. They promise to give you points if you pay on time--for your birthday--and for attending "credit school". So it takes about 4 months to get 5% off on your loan and after two years (when the loan is supposed to be paid off), you get 50% off. Wow, in the meantime, you make bi-weekly (yes every two weeks) payments of $247 or nearly $500 a month. That's a whole lot of cashola--especially when you are not even biting into principal for about 6 months.

Run away and run fast. Nobody deserves this kind of scam--not even your worst enemy! The only difference between this company and the mafia, is that they may not break your legs if you don't pay on time. 

If you don't believe me, head over to this site and see who else feels this way: PissedConsumer

I absolutely despise this company!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Thanks to the Premier Magazine for America's Municipalities
The 9-11 Patch Project is honored to announce "The Municipal" has become our latest $911 Sponsor! The Municipal Magazine is sent out to 25,000 City Department Heads in 18 States, 12 times a year. Companies with products/services can get their message directly out to folks in specific city departments who have the purchasing power. The Municipal will also be sending out an announcement about the 9-11 Patch Project in 2 monthly magazines. Getting the project out in front of City Fire, EMS & Police is what the project has worked on the past 13 years- this partnership with The Municipal will help make that happen! We thank The Municipal for stepping up to sponsor and partner with us...they are another organization that gives back and you should all be aware of that!

ABOUT THE MUNICIPAL: The Municipal magazine was started in 2011 as the premier monthly magazine for America’s municipalities. We are a free publication that is direct mailed to 25,000 city managers, street/highway departments, parks and recreation managers, utility/public works supervisors, transportation / fleet professionals and fire/rescue / police chiefs in 18 states – Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Our goal every month is to inform municipalities of the choices available to make effective purchasing decisions.

The Municipal magazine is owned by The Papers Inc in Milford, Indiana. Twenty five weekly and monthly newspapers and magazines are published under our corporate name.

Have a product or service you would like to get in front of those who have the purchasing power? Contact The Municipal and find out how easily you can get this done. Again, we thank The Municipal for stepping up to become our latest sponsor! We look forward to working with them in the near future and hope that you take a moment to thank them on our behalf.