A worldwide impact
Alison Des Forges lived to have a worldwide impact. And a decade after her death, she’s still having one.
And Des Forges – a University at Buffalo professor and human rights activist – is by no means the only person who died on Flight 3407 whose legacy continues to grow both in Buffalo and around the world.
After Des Forges’ death, her family and friends raised $500,000 to provide four scholarships annually for Buffalo public school students to attend the University at Buffalo.
Flight 3407 families also established either high school or college scholarships in the name of crash victims David Borner, Beverly Eckert, Ron Gonzales, Brad Green, Coleman Mellett, Lorin Maurer and Kristin Safran.
And that doesn’t include scholarships established – and six-figure donations made to universities and other institutions – by Flight 3407 family members who do not want their efforts publicized.
“There are a number of people who don’t want the attention,” John Kausner said.
In addition to the scholarships in Des Forges’ memory, her family and friends sponsor annual international conferences on human rights issues such as climate change and human trafficking, as well as an annual award for people who work to improve Buffalo and the world.
Sharon Green’s efforts to honor her late husband, Brad, reach across the world as well.
Every November, Green and about 10 of her friends from the Flight 3407 families gather with dozens of others in her East Amherst home. Day after day, they form an assembly line to put together gift boxes for poor children across the world.
Part of Samaritan Purse’s Operation Christmas Child, Green’s effort started by putting together 100 gift boxes a year. Now, thanks in part to help from her “Flight 3407 sisters,” the number has skyrocketed to more than 1,000.
“It gives you a sense of something good coming from something so tragic,” Green said. “Beauty from the ashes.”