9/11 Teens Travel to Bay St. Louis, MS to Build with Habitat for Humanity

Feb 25, 2011, 16:13 ET from Tuesday's Children

MANHASSET, N.Y., Feb. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Tuesday's Children, a 9/11 family service organization, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, took 22 high school students this week to Bay St. Louis, MS, to help build homes for families affected by flooding.  These teens, all of whom suffered the loss of a family member on September 11th, have been able make significant progress on the construction of a home, as well as develop a personal connection to the homeowner.  Tuesday's Children's Director of Teen Programs Kathy Murphy said, "These young adults have been an inspiration for this entire community showing by example that they understand the value and necessity of giving back and by doing so, continue to heal themselves."  Tuesday's Children's "Helping Heals" program provides international, domestic and local community service opportunities for both teens and adults impacted by the events of September 11, 2001.

These teenagers have not forgotten how family, friends and the nation reached out to them in their time of need.  They now have the opportunity to "pay it forward" by helping others.  As Sydney Arczynski, 19, from Stowe, Vermont poignantly shared, "We're here in Mississippi helping others rebuild their future which gives us the opportunity to rebuild ourselves."  The trip began February 20th and ended on the 25th.

Programs like "Helping Heals" have tremendous benefits. Research indicates that by giving something back to the community, individuals take a significant step toward improving psychological mental health. Experts agree that those who engage in volunteer work experience a significant improvement in emotional well-being, self esteem, self worth and self efficacy. Volunteers develop a greater sense of purpose in life, achieved increased mastery over their lives, and improved life satisfaction.

To lose a parent under any circumstances is truly tragic. For the children of September 11th, the sudden and violent nature of their loss has become the overwhelming and defining characteristic of their lives.  Tuesday's Children is a non-profit family service organization that has made a long-term commitment to every individual who was directly impacted by the events of September 11, 2001 and more recently those lives that have been affected forever by terrorism around the globe. For more information about Tuesday's Children and its "Helping Heals" program, contact Kathy Murphy at kathy@tuesdayschildren.org, call 516-562-9000, or visit www.tuesdayschildren.org.

SOURCE Tuesday's Children