Monday, January 12, 2009

A story of inspiration and a request to vote

Susan Retik lost her husband on September 11th. He was on the first plane to hit the towers. Weeks later she gave birth to their third child. She eventually transcended her shock and grief by co-founding an organization called Beyond the 11th, which provides financial and emotional support to Afghani widows and their children who are trapped in an ever-deepening cycle of poverty. Beyond the 11th’s grants are geared toward programs that help widows gain the skills necessary to generate their own income. Susan’s work was inspired by the incredible generosity she received and her realization of the absolute scarcity of help for her counterparts in Afghanistan. Every year on the anniversary of her husband’s death Susan bikes from the site of the twin towers to Boston, MA to fundraise for Afghanistan’s widows. She eventually traveled to Afghanistan, along with Beyond the 11th co-founder and fellow September 11th widow Patti Quigley, to meet the recipients of her organization. The life changing trip is the subject of the documentary, Beyond Belief.

Susan’s work as Beyond the 11th director is to promote peace and justice. The rewards will be reaped by children as far as the Middle East, and as near as her own back yard.

Several weeks ago I wrote an essay nominating Susan for Cookie Magazine’s Smart Cookie Award. Nominations poured in to the magazine and Susan was chosen one of their 5 finalists!!! And YOU get to vote for the award winner! Please go on line to: and vote for Susan Retik! She could win $35,000 for her organization! PLEASE, VOTE NOW!

There are no obligations to voting -- you do not have to subscribe to the magazine and I promise that you won’t be put on any mailing or call lists. Also, you can be a man or woman to vote. Tell all of your friends and family to vote! Together we can help Susan make a difference for the women and children in Afghanistan -- a difference that will have a ripple effect all throughout the world.

Thank you for your support!

Peace and Love,
A MAU in Pennsylvania

Get inspired! View her documentary trailer at:
Learn more about her foundation at: